I have been reading a lot of the threads and see a lot of opinions on ethics, names, techniques Etc.
For what is it worth, I feel a lot of people have lost sight of what it is we hunters do and why. This may be the wrong place for this but I would like to give my take on why I hunt.
First and foremost, itís not easy. If it were everyone would do it, and do it successfully. A successful hunt requires hours of planning, looking at topos, talking to locals and scouting.
Secondly, I think preparation is one of the best parts of the hunt. Ensuring that all of my gear is ready and packed. Maps have been checked and double checked. Safety and first aid equipment all in its place. Travel arrangements have been made and triple checked. Hours are spent with hunting partners going over every last detail. Sleep is lost the week prior to the hunt in anticipation. I feel like a kid waiting for Santa.
Third, the hunt itself. Standing in the bush alone and ready. At no other time in my life are my senses as highly tuned. Every little gust of wind is felt. The smell of rotting leaves can be overwhelming. I hear every foot step of a squirrel as it hurriedly prepares for winter. My eye catches movements over great distance. I am defiantly switched on! At no other time of year is the outdoors as awesome or beautiful. Fireweed in deep red, the yellows of the fading cottonwoods and termination dust on the highest peaks. This is it, the very best time of the year. I have planned and prepared and all I am assured of is a few days away for my job. Time spent in the woods with no cell phones, no bills, and only one worry. Survival.
In the event that I harvest an animal, it means that I have done it better than eighty percent of my fellow hunters. In the event that I do not fill my tag, I am still successful. As my wife puts it, I return a new man, refreshed and reborn. While I donít attend any church service, and donít consider myself a religious man, I find god on these hunts.
While everyone want to debate ethics and new laws and policy, I think it takes away from the pure experience of hunting. Hunters must vote and follow laws that affect our rights, but in the end it all comes down to this. Just Hunt.
My father passed this love on to me and in turn I have passed it to my son. I can only hope that he passes it on and that the tradition continues. To all my fellow hunters, good luck. I do not care what game you choose to hunt as long as it is hunted with respect. As hunters we are the ultimate conservationists.