Monday, October 10, 2011

The right reason for hunting...

I've been asked many times now: "Jake, why do you hunt?"

The answer? Because nature is a beautiful thing and everyone should take time to truly appreciate it.

No, I'm not some hippy who follows a vegan diet and says that we are robbing resources from our great great great great greatgreatgreatgreat granchildren.

One of the great things about hunting is that you get to enjoy meat that you normally wouldn't dine on. But if that was the only reason for hunting, why go through all the trouble of scouting and setting up and sitting for hours on end when you could simply find a quality butcher shop and buy whatever you desire? The actual harvest of game is only the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more.

Hunters are not killers. People who shoot game and thoroughly enjoy the actual killing of the animal need help and should be committed immediately. While I personally don't take issue with pulling the trigger and ending another animals life, I don't take unnecessary satisfaction in it. It is what happens doing what I do, nothing more to me. I take time to appreciate the animal I took and, in a nonreligious way, give thanks of sorts to it for providing a good meal.

So why hunt then? Why not just go and buy that meat like I mentioned above?

Because like I said above, nature is beautiful.

I am a member of Ducks Unlimited. As such, one of the perks of membership is a every other month delivery of their magazine. One of their columnists, E. Donnall Thomas Jr., is probably one of my favorite columnists of all time. He has lived an obviously storied life and has seemingly lived and hunted everywhere in this great country of ours. A while ago he wrote a column about "Goose Day". This is not a day that is recognized on the same day each year. It is merely a day that a few are lucky enough to witness each year. Goose Day is the day that all the geese in your area seem to take off for the migration, and the sky is filled with literally thousands of birds moving. I was fortunate one year to actually be out at the duck swamp when this happened. I heard them first, and then over the tree line came "V" upon "V" of migrating geese. For about 25 minutes, the sky was alive with the sounds of honking and vibrations of huge wings flapping in earnest for the South. It was truly a spectacle. Beautiful in it's own way.

That's what hunting is about. Getting away. Plopping yourself in the middle of nature and watching how the world works without cell phones, computers, traffic, or social networks.

However you do it, whether it be watching an early morning sunrise from the deer stand, walking through the forest on your favorite grouse trail, or being fortunate to be out at the edge of the pond during "Goose Day", hunting is merely a vessel for doing what everyone should do from time to time:

Slow down, and get away for a little bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter