By Montana Grant

Posted: July 31, 2022

Fishing and hunting hats are full of stories. 

One of my buddies had a hat that he used for upland bird hunting. For years, his biggest excuse, when he missed a bird, was that the hat brim got in his way. He finally cut it off and swore that the brimless hat improved his shooting.

Another friend had a Yellow Hat custom made with his initials sewn onto it. Some friends covered their hats with pins and decorations. Others added feathers, or other artifacts. Their hats became a statement about who they were, where they were from, or stories they could tell. 

Most of our bodies heat is lost through our heads. A hat keeps the lid on and heat in. On sunny days, hats keep our face and eyes protected from the sun. Reflected light off snow or water can damage our skin. Some of our buddies never look the same without a hat. I did not know that my one friend was bald for years.

Some places require you to remove your hat. Taking hats off in the presence of ladies was respectful. Now, we wear hats indoors, around everyone, and how we like.

Hats may be a part of a matching wardrobe. Other hats may represent the champions of a fishing trip or hunt. Wearing wide brimmed hats may say that the nearby caster is lousy. Hats can be protection for hooks and wayward lures. 

We all have our favorite hats. Certain hat styles, colors, and shapes define our looks, personalities, and comfort. Some hats just feel right! Some hats are better when it is cold while others are better when its warm. Some hats are for dates or special occasions while others are for sweating, work, or who cares days.

We hate to throw Old Hats away. Losing an Old Hat is like parting with a friend. Favorite hats may have been a gift from a buddy. You may have bought the hat on a vacation or trip. Some hats may have been custom made. All our hats saw us through good and bad, swatted tons of bugs, and remind us about where we traveled together. Old Hats are like bumper stickers that say, “We were there!”

Recently my wife decided to wash some of my hats. My sweat stained, dirty, and worn headgear were a mess. I still wore them. She was able to scrub away the sweat and dirt using some new Google trick. The hats do look cleaner but still fit perfectly. Now I can resweat, restink, refilth, and stain them again. As much as she scrubbed, soaked, and washed those Old Hats, she couldn’t clean away the special memories.

Old Hats remind us about who we were and who we are. Just a glimpse of an Old Hat brings back stories, memories, and reminders of our lives. Old Hats are roadmaps for the trails we hiked, rivers we fished, and tags we filled.

Well, time to go on ahead!

Montana Grant

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