I have an old laptop...its just about toast but i was on it today looking for a particular picture....didnt find the pic but found a bunch of old stories...some complete...some half done....I found this one, i have no idea if Ive posted it before or not....but i thought it was maybe posting again....its another tribute to my dad......and hunters in general....there were years I wrestled with why I hunt.....finally it just struck me....its just who I am....to try and squash it would be impossible .
I may as well endeavor and catch the wind as attempt to put what hunting means to me in terms using sentences.
I have attempted this precise thing in the past, and felt I have always come up short somehow.
I’m told by certain learned folks that you can’t, or shouldn’t, remedy a question with a question. But it’s glaringly apparent they have never hunted. Never toiled over a buck deer. Never smelled the woods in autumn. Never had a muddy dog dead tired twitch and dream at their feet after a long day in the field. Heard the fall breezes rustle thru the brilliant autumn foliage. Stay out in times of turbulent weather when hoping, against all odds, that their quarry will make a misstep. Watched the woodlands come to life with the corresponding break of day.
I feel bad for those folks.
So why do we hunt? Why do waterfowl head south? Why do bears hibernate? Why do rabbits turn white? Why do salmon travel thousands of miles only to come back to the same river they were spawned in? Why do leaves turn in the fall?
The list could go on. Notwithstanding the methodical rationales the eggheads like to tell us, the undemanding answer is it’s nature. Magnificently in sync. A seamless rhythm of give and take. Balance. Equilibrium. Harsh and real.
A perfect wheel. And the only way I can suppose it….is that I (we) are just a part of that wheel…….a part of the balancing act. At times takers, at times givers.
I wish it was possible to ask a lab why he will retrieve all day. Or a beagle will run rabbits till its paws bleed. And just why does a pointer point? Whatever the reasons….I am content to simply say “ditto”- it’s who and what I am.
As many know…my father was my mentor, friend, and hunting buddy. The times I hunted with him and other family was gold. I have posted some of these thoughts in the past and I’ll refrain from reiterating them here again. I still hunt with him everyday in my heart and soul though.
I’m sure we made a thousand trips to camp….and yet I will always yearn for trip number 1000 and one. On our last trip to camp we ever shared, he killed a spike horn deer ( at age 81)….He was ashamed that he couldn’t drag it out because his legs were unsure and weak. I remember winking at him and saying “ quit your complaining ol feller, slide on over by that fine buck and get yer picture taken”
His big smile behind that little buck is how I will forever remember him with respect to our hunting together. It is ingrained in my mind and hunters heart. I didn’t know that was going to be our last hunt together or his last hunt forever. What I will for ever and a day be thankful for is that we knew the moment was golden right then and there …..we didn’t need hindsight or tragedy to realize it. And because of that hunting has enriched my life beyond words……I am lucky to be a hunter….it’s everything!