May 27, 2009
This will be the first time a competitor steps onto a TOC course and has to rely on his or her knowledge and skill without the benefit of weeks of practice. The past few years you could practice casting and shooting in the 10- to 30-yard range, knowing that was pretty much what you could expect to encounter at a Regional. Not this year. The addition of the “skills” discipline will require competitors to perform an unknown set of outdoor skills in the fastest time possible.
Competitors know that there will be four skills to perform—all will average around 30 seconds—and they will remain unknown until game day. If the venue allows, there will be one skill each related to hunting, fishing, survival, and camping or hiking. There won’t be a lot of room to run, so the emphasis is on skills, not endurance like in the TOC Finals.
Becoming competent in skills that span every aspect of the outdoors takes years and a strong desire to learn, and that’s the point of the competition. Total Outdoorsman means that you’re ready to set that snare or make that lay-out blind blend into the surroundings—with or without practice.