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Question – Why do I hunt?

December 2, 2011

Many years ago when I was living on the East Coast, and still in the Navy, a non-hunting friend asked why I bothered to hunt. His impression was that hunting was largely and solely for the “thrill” of the kill and the trophy.

When I explained to him that I actually prefer to shoot something younger and far more tasty (where legal) than something old tough and with ginormous horns – he was a little perplexed.

To him hunting was all about who had the greatest B&C score and the best trophy. When I explained that in my family we cherished the time we spent together hunting which was about the only time that all of got together as a family. Shooting something was secondary to seeing everyone and having fun together.

I appreciate the skill of the hunt and enjoy the pursuit of game. However, after you pull the trigger and kill something the fun ends! Dealing with and properly butchering a large game animal is hard work. There are many times in recent years that I have passed shooting something because I was feeling just too damn lazy. I was too far from my vehicle and I did not feel like struggling with several hundred pounds of a dead critter in the pouring rain. Rather I chose to enjoy a walk with my rifle and enjoyed watching the animals.

As I hunter I strive to respect the animal and the land. I was raised that for the most part (aside from pests and varmints) you ate what you shot. For this reason I would much rather shoot a cow elk than a giant 6×8 bull.

My non-hunting friend brought up the fact that there was no real need to harvest wild game as the supermarket is full of fresh meat. My friend was correct in a way – the supermarket is full of meat, however, that meat has been subjected to a lot of handling, hormones, and is full of all kinds of things that wild game lacks.

I disagreed with my friend on his calling the meat in the supermarket “fresh” as a lot of it has been dead for a considerable length of time. You want fresh meat, shoot an animal and eat him that evening!

I have butchered my own cattle, hogs, chickens and rabbits in the past when I lived in the country as a young boy. My family tried to be self sufficient back in the late 1970’s when the self-sufficient fad was in and my parents got bitten by the bug. My father moved us out of the big city out to the middle of nowhere and made a good try of it.

One of the biggest problems I have with our society is that we have removed the cost of what it takes to slaughter that animal. We go to the supermarket and buy these nice sterile and clean packages of meat without realizing what it takes.

After SHTF and TEOTWAWKI, if you want some fried chicken you are going to have to go out and catch that yard bird, kill it and butcher it! How many people actually know how to do this?

It always brings to mind for me the Nicole Kidman character in the 2003 movie “Cold Mountain.” Nicole Kidman’s character was a useless woman! If Renée Zellweger’s character had not taken pity on her, she would have starved to death! That damn rooster that Nicole Kidman was so scared of would have been in the cook pot at my house long before Renée Zellweger’s character arrived.

Should the SHTF and TEOTWAWKI those of us that know how to hunt and butcher our own game, are going to be better off than the average inner city dweller that suddenly finds himself hungry with no idea how to feed himself.

When I was in Bosnia during the breakup of the former Czechoslovakia, the hungry city dwellers had nearly annihilated all the city pigeons. The city’s stray dogs and cats had also been victims of the hungry Czechs.

I am betting that after the SHTF in nearby Seattle all those nasty Canadian geese and ducks that are polluting the city parks are going to disappear. Those nice urban deer that fill our city parks during deer season are going to become fair game as well as anybody’s stray pet.

I hunt because I enjoy it and I enjoy providing my family with good tasting meat. I also like the knowledge that I can feed my family if the local supermarket suddenly runs out of food, the zombies rise, or SHTF.

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One Comment
  1. tony permalink

    Amen brother! I would much rather bring home a young doe than I would a old tough buck. Besides the meat is better for you and doesn’t have all the chemical as you said.

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