Nick Muche's Link
I was actually just pondering meat in relation to why I hunt over the past few days. I am about to put 2 processed elk, an antelope, and a bear in the freezer on top of 3 deer just from this season alone. With all the work it has taken me to get that meat into the freezer it got me to thinking "would I still hunt if the meat wasn't a part of it?" Answer: One thousand percent..... yes...…
To be clear, the meat is a huge part of the fun for me. I love to process it, stock it in the freezer, and even occasionally open up the freezer just to look through it like Ebeneezer Scrooge counting his sacks of gold. I also love to cook it and serve it to friends, family, and my kids who love few other meals more than backstraps, pierogis, and green beans. I spend a tremendous amount of time and effort to bring meat out of the mountains and woods, but...…. at the end of the day that is not the reason I hunt. It's much, much more. I actually think there has been a shift, one that is seemingly innocuous, but actually potentially hazardous, to justify the reason I (we) hunt as solely for meat.
I love, love, love that part of it, but it isn't necessary to justify why I hunt. Not that the meat should ever be carelessly wasted, but I love the chase, the excitement, the satisfaction from success, and yes, gasp..... the kill. It is who I am and the more I think on it and read articles such as this, I believe I need to not think in terms of hunting for meat as a main justification for why I hunt. There is so much more than meat that causes me to spend time away from my family, thousands of dollars, countless hours, and back breaking work to pursue a wild animal and kill it. I suppose it's the same reason a small boy has to go shoot a tweety bird in the backyard with his BB gun. It's who I am and how I'm wired.
Many people will ask why I don't just go for a hike or just go take pictures. I'll tell them that the difference between going for a hike or taking pictures versus going hunting is about the same as going to watch a sport versus playing it. Hikers and photographers are observers, while hunters are participants.
Who was it that was asked about The Blues and answered “Baby, if ya gotta ask, you’ll never understand...”?
But on the other hand, I’m still ALL for non-hunters getting exposed to an honest HUNTING experience, no matter what draws them in.
And I’m not talking about setting them up in a blind over a bait pile or letting them crop off one or two out of the dozens of feet that parade across a food plot, but actual down-and-dirty, figure it out, freeze your ass off, suffer a little and go home empty HUNTING experience.
Hunting is portrayed on TV like a trip to the farmers market in ugly brown designer clothes, and that perception doesn’t help.
If the Foodies want in, that’s cool with me. I just want them to walk away knowing enough and having enough respect for all that’s involved that they’ll be able to set their friends and neighbors straight on what this is all about the next time some know-nothing Anti starts spewing half-truths and outright lies about what’s going on out there, and “Oh,yeah, I tried it once and killed something but it wasn’t that interesting” is NOT what’s needed.