By: Connor Hermesch


FISHERS, Ind. ­­­­– I grew up in your typical storybook small town. The kind where there is just one stop light and corn fields as far as you can see. Growing up I always enjoyed spending time outdoors exploring the unknown. As I grew up me and my friends stayed busy with all sorts of typical activities: like sports, fishing or anything that would keep me and my friends entertained and of course my parents driving us back and forth. But one thing that my friends were doing always piqued my interest. . . hunting. Why didn’t I hunt?

That’s a good question and I am just now realizing my mistake.

Living in a small country town hunting was a common passion shared by just about everyone. However, my father was never a hunter simply because his father wasn’t. It’s almost like a hereditary gene that is either passed along or it isn’t. Consequently, as I grew up, hunting was just never a tradition that was taught to me. As I grew older and a tiny bit more mature, my parents agreed to let me tag along with my buddies as they ventured out into the woods. So I borrowed some ill-fitting, old camo from a friend and set out to conquer the vast wilderness of southern Indiana.

I clearly remember the first time I fired a gun. Suddenly I felt a power and responsibility I had never experienced. Since I had no hunting gear of my own, my friends stuck me on the ground on the other side of the woods as they climbed up into their “fancy” tree stands. I sat there anxiously waiting, hoping to just see a deer. Predictably, that didn’t happen. Even though I didn’t see anything to speak of that evening, I felt the emotion and sense of tranquility that my buddies and other hunters always talk about. I felt a very real kind of relaxation and a peace that I didn’t even know I was missing. Being in solitude, hearing only the birds chirp, seeing nothing but fields, trees and the massive blue sky emptied my head of my worries and thoughts. It was a different level of relaxation than coming home from a long day at work and sitting down in your favorite chair and watching your favorite television show. I went hunting a few more times those next couple years with my friends, but again more as a tag-a-long than a serious player. Then after high school and while off at college the opportunities to go hunt became less and less.

After graduating college with my marketing degree, I was blessed to start my career with the American Hunting Lease Association. The AHLA is the leader in all things hunting lease related. Working for the AHLA I learned that hunting is not just for people who live in the country or young boys who are taught by their fathers. Hunting can be taken up by anyone at any age. After working with the AHLA and speaking to our members for only a few months my interest in hunting was reignited. However, I have learned there is a lot more to hunting than just sitting in a tree stand waiting for a deer to walk by. The hunters in our office have showed me the importance of preparing your hunting spot in the off season, hunter education and of course safety dos and don’ts. A beginning hunter has much more to learn than I knew, and I have hit the jackpot as far as teachers go! Thankfully, the AHLA provides all of these resources right on their website for anyone to access and read. (in fact that’s kind of my job!) The AHLA is more than just an organization that sells insurance. We have up-to-date news in the hunting industry, tools to list and find hunting leases, monthly articles and so much more.

So if you are interested in starting to hunt, but don’t know where to start. Check out our blog at, chances are pretty good you will find the answer you are looking for.