It’s around five something in the morning when the alarm goes off. I will myself out of bed despite the fact that it’s Saturday morning. Thirty minutes later, my boots are crunching across the frost as I make my way to the hang-on stand put up in hopes for that one deer. I settle in and my heart rate slows as I sit in the pitch-black darkness, waiting for the world to wake up. I doze off for a few minutes and awake to the chorus of the woods as the sky turns gray, then pink. There is no blackberry, no TV, no conference calls, no routine, no voices—just birds and squirrels going about their business. There’s something primal about the first sight of game.
Alert and careful, a whitetail deer emerges for breakfast. I peek through the binoculars and it reveals exactly what I’m looking for. I wait for him to calm down and start browsing on the edge between the forest and the field. Even from 200 yards away, the deer senses that something isn’t quite right. Every few seconds his head bolts upward with his eyes and ears lock on my location; his nostrils test the air but the wind is in my face. I dare not blink.
When his head eases down in search of another acorn I make my move, raising the .270 up until I’m in a solid, seated position. I pull the stock tight to my shoulder and cheek, rest my triceps on my knees and dig my heels into the platform to anchor the whole package into a steady position. I take a breath and exhale most of it as the crosshairs settle into a small orbit on his shoulder—it’s never as steady as it is in the movies. Even with the light kick of the Remington, I lose sight of him in the recoil. The sound of the bullet’s impact echoes across the thick morning air and lets me know that it found its mark.
There’s a sense of elation as I approach him, but there’s no high-fiving or celebration. There’s just a quiet moment between hunter and quarry before my knife comes out and the real work begins. This is where the food on my family’s table comes from. It’s as organic as it gets: no hormones, no feed, no fences, no styrofoam and cellophane under the fluorescent lights of the grocery store. This is hunting.
People hunt for many reasons. It could be for food, the thrill, the possibility of getting close to wild game, the stealth it requires, the challenge to harvest a mature animal; the list can be very extensive. So let me ask you, why do you hunt?
- The few seconds before you draw back or pull the trigger?
- The adrenaline rush that comes from seeing the pursued game?
- Tracking the game?
- The anticipation of going hunting?
- The hunt finally coming together?
- Watching our youth take to the sport?
- Teaching others?
- Just being out in the woods with others?
- Experiencing nature and immersing myself in it?
- Creating memories?
- The conversing before or after the hunt?
- To keep the tradition alive?
- Sneaking out of work to get to the woods?
- Packing your gear and vehicle?
- Watching the woods wake up first thing in the morning or go silent as the sun dives in the evening?
- Scouting and checking trail cameras?
- That there are no are 4 quarters, halftime, 9 innings, 18 holes, and no start or finish lines?
- Watching dogs work?
- Finding a trophy on your trail camera and pursuing it all season?
- Learning how to do something new (bowhunting, calling, etc.)?
- Butchering and having wild game in your freezer?
- Simply to say you’re a hunter?
- It’s healthy
- It’s good for the species
Some people say the worst day hunting is better than the best day at work or school – I believe this. Hunting heightens your senses and is a great way to enjoy wildlife. When you hunt, you will see, hear, smell and feel things you have never experienced before. As part of the struggle for life, you sense things more intensely than people who are just observers.
Why do I hunt?
I hunt to hear a choir of noisy ducks and geese in a dark marsh, then watch as the first rays of sunlight illuminate their colorful plumage. I hunt to smell the musky scent of a not-too-long-gone herd of elk. I hunt to hear the rattle of antlers as two whitetail bucks fight for dominance. I choose to hunt because it’s a gift of freedom. I choose to hunt like my father and grandfather did.
Why do you hunt? Please share your comments below!
Via: All Outdoor