Why do we hunt? That is a question a lot of people have asked me over the years. I have answered the question in so many different ways. I think the reasons have actually changed for me over the years. I am not sure how many of you that read this blog even think about why we hunt, we just do it. My good friend inadvertently blurted out “meat!” when asked the question. Other answers include tradition, pleasure, excitement etc…
I think I would some it all up with the answer, “The Experience!”
Hunting for me has been a self-taught experience of lessons that have easily flowed over into my mainstream life. My father was not a hunter, and so I got my hunting experiences from friends who came from hunting families. I proclaim I am self-taught, in reality this means a lot of good friends have helped me learn about hunting in general. Without these close friends I would probably not be here writing this. Which is all part of “The Experience!”
I have found that all of the marvelous experiences while hunting have truly given me pleasure in life. I seem to be more at peace with myself when hunting. Sure, I equate this to man vs. beast, to brave the elements, to outwit a cunning game animal, and to have nerves of steel to make the shot when it counts. These are all things that come in to play when I harvest the whitetail deer. I have such high regard and respect for the animal that sometimes people ask, “Then why kill it?” to which I answer “The Experience!”
I truly believe that hunting some how links me to the past, days gone of the wild frontier; in harder times when hunting was a way of life, not a recreational pursuit of sportsmen. As a history teacher I have always believed I am so how connected to the past and hunting helps fulfilling some inner being in me.
Regardless of why you hunt, you have to be able to chalk up it up to “The Experience!”
On a recent cold November day in western New York.
Recent weather has brought colder than normal temps to western New York. My perch is a beautiful view.
I sat pondering why the heck I am 30feet up in a tree waiting for the possibility of a 3 ½ year old buck to miraculously come walking by me. It was below freezing and there really wasn’t much moving, except the Turkeys.
This Turkey decided to come in for a closer look at me. Turkeys have such great eyesight, but yet their curiosity can bring them in close.
Then I remembered it was all part of “The Experience!” My mind quickly became refocused when the Turkeys began to join me up in the tree. In fact these two decided to come take a closer look at my camouflage.
These two Turkeys decided a grounds eye view wouldn’t work, so they joined me in an adjacent tree. I thought for sure taking my camera and would spook them away, but they hung around for a bit.
Apparently my camo works well, as these Turkeys took a close look and I didn’t spook them away. Although I was not thrilled to have to sit “so still” for a long period of time.
Eventually the Turkeys began to wonder away, as they continued to frolic in the bushes about 75 yards out.
This row of Turkeys decided to head out and find some morning food to fill their stomachs. They reminded me of a parade, all the soldiers marching in line!
I laughed to myself and chuckled at “The Experience!”
Soon my attention was focused on the brown creature moving in the brush my way. “The Experience” was picking up as my heart raced; my thoughts went right to the 150 class 10 pointer I saw a few days earlier. As the deer cleared the brush and I got a better look, it turns out to be a hopeful 150 class 10 pointer in about 4 more years.
This button buck got my heart racing as he came through the thicket. I was hoping he was a big 10 pointer I had seen a few days earlier. Instead it was just a button buck coming to pick through the snow for some leftover white oak acorns on the ground.
Safe to say I was disappointed, but again, what a great “Experience” to have that feeling.
I will close this blog by saying, we all hunt for different reasons. Some for meat, fun, excitement, and traditions. No matter why you hunt, enjoy “The Experience” it gives you.