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From time to time we are posed with the question of why we hunt. Generally the answers are laced with explanations where genetic disposition and conservation are combined in an effort to justify the endeavor. While this might be a scientific explanation of reality, it falls short in explaining why we are driven to the woods.
In hunting there are no politics. While hunting you do not have to listen or submit to a pandering, narcissistic old lady, whose only real achievement in life has been the winning of a popularity contest, tell you lies.
In hunting there are no terrible bosses. There is no one to lord over you while taking advantage of their position to noodle the secretary, embezzle from the business, or make stupid decisions that impact your livelihood.
In hunting there are no stammering, stomped idiots to block the aisle, while they gander in a trance at displays of Halloween yard ornaments or visit with neighbors to talk about the new Bojangles opening up down town.
In hunting your food is free. In the field meat is all the same price, regardless of the cut. A filet costs the same as brisket and a holiday turkey is no more expensive than opossum pie.
In hunting there is no nepotism – unless you control it. Its not an activity where a coach can take your son, who is the team’s high scorer, and position him so his own son can improve his stats. But, you can take your son or daughter to the field and let them be the one who pulls the trigger.
In hunting royalty has no bearing and there are no taxes. Unlike our European ancestors who could only hunt at the will and pleasure of the barons and feudal lords, in America your stature in the kingdom does not prohibit your participation.
In hunting there are no fools to contend with – unless your outfitter has been poorly chosen – and success and failure ride on your shoulders. If you’re late into the woods, the fault is yours. If you miss, the fault is yours. And, if you succeed it is because of your effort.
In hunting there are no riots and lawlessness – nature dictates. You’ll not see a gaggle of squirrels or flock of geese assemble in protest to throw nuts and vandalize your camp.
Hunting is the ultimate expression of nature. Hunting is how we lived before we mistakenly assumed we were too civilized to be who we really are. Hunting is an intricate part of the human existence for the same reason sunny days, ice cream, and sex, make us happy. Hunting is fun. And, the satisfaction it delivers fills our hearts, our guts, and our souls.
So, the next time someone asks you why you hunt, tell them the truth.
Tell them you hunt because it makes you happy, because you are human, because it is the right thing to do, because it satisfies the primary requisite for survival – sustenance. And tell them you hunt because while you’re doing it, you don’t have to explain it to anyone.
Tell them you hunt because hunting is freedom.
Hunting is an escape from the stupidness and it is the ultimate expression of life – life uninhibited, unplugged, unbiased, unselfish, and unafraid.