I wasn’t born with a bow in my hand, but it wasn’t long before one was placed in my cradle. I still remember that red fiberglass stickbow, and my mismatched bunch of arrows that I shot at a big Styrofoam block until all the sides were concave, losing arrows shooting at birds in the yard, and countless blown stalks at groundhogs, and so it started. Deer hunting came early, and my first deer fell to my arrow when I was twelve, after a couple years of trying. From there I’ve followed my passion through many decades of constant change. I cut my teeth on venison and am literally a man made of deer. My cross country whitetail nomad bowhunting adventures are high points in my life. Bowhunting is more than my passion, more than my lifestyle, it is my definition. I love to hunt, live to hunt, and am a born hunter. You will hear no apologetic pandering to non-hunters or to anti-hunters from me. Hunting is a natural aspect of human nature, and if you really want to know I consider it a human right. Those who accept their own natural state are often hunters. This is for those who love to hunt as much as I do.
In the end hunting is all about the food. We hunt to live, and to live we need to eat. Of course, that is a bit simplified considering the modern world with its mass agri-systems. Hunting, gathering, and cooking wild food provides the best diet ever, and the process is a natural human condition. Making meat is what people are supposed to do. From the beginning eating wild food has been a constant in my world. My grandparents were very poor country people who lived largely from what the surrounding woods provided. We had venison, and just about everything else that could be caught and killed in the vicinity, including squirrels, raccoons, among many other small animals, and any fish we could catch. As I child I didn’t realize that we were enjoying haute cuisine that should have been the envy of our more civilized neighbors. This realization came slowly, and as a teenager I was somewhat embarrassed that we rarely ate store purchased meat, but now I embrace wild food as natural, wholesome, and healthy. I am proud that I eat primarily food that I kill. I love to cook, and try new recipes. The culinary possibilities of wild food are endless. This is for those who love wild food as much as I do.
Some of us are born runners, and I fall in that category. I have been regularly running for over thirty years. Running came naturally, and I ran in school and a bit in college. After I gave up collegiate running I ran just for fun, but harder and more than ever, always with hunting as a primary goal of my training. I run so that I may hunt. The benefits of running are manifold. For hunting running keeps you fit, and makes you stronger, and when it comes down to it hunting success is a lot about being tough enough to simply be in the woods long enough for an opportunity to happen. Also, the hunting state of being that I slip into, a form of meditation that allows complete awareness without too much mental clutter, is the same state that I arrive at while running. Hunting, like running, is primarily a mental exercise that is improved with regular repetition, and each complements the other. There is some biological evidence that running as a form of hunting in fact shaped our very morphology. Throughout deep human history hunters have been the fittest and most respected people in their tribes and clans. Running, Hunting, and Eating fit together naturally. This is for those who love to run as much as I do.
Humans are the wildest, meanest, smartest, most feared predators on the planet. No one has ever tamed us, we are in fact still wild animals, despite our own attempts to coral ourselves. The civilization construct that we live in is only a very thin veneer, and mostly an illusion, that could collapse at any second, particularly if we don’t allow for our natural state. Our biology determines how we are and act. It says we are omnivores that must kill to survive, like every other animal for that matter. We should embrace our nature as predators, hunters, gatherers, our biological position as the absolute dominant predator, and embrace the intellect we used to get to there. The tools we make are what sets us apart as a species. Apologetic humanity is missing the point of our climb to the top. Hunters know the reality of life and living, and the impermanence of existence. This is for those who embrace their wild nature and seek the hunt, seek life to its fullest.
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