He has spent the extra money for the best camo and scent blockers. He has taken every precaution to prepare everything possible in his favor. He is ready.
He puts on his day-pack, shoulders his rifle and slips off into the darkness. Now he is one with the wilderness.
Every sound, every movement will be tested. He will be aware of the direction of every early morning whisp of wind. He will carefully choose every step that is taken, while watching for sticks or rocks that may move and make a sound. He has become as wild as the quarry that he seeks. He has given in to the instincts of the predator, and become the hunter.
Most people never have a desire to go into the woods to hunt. Most people would rather take pictures than shoot an animal. I certainly don’t have a problem with that. Everyone has their own way of looking at nature, however there are a percentage of us who enjoy hunting. We not only enjoy hunting, but we are driven by the passion for it. It is an obsession for some of us as much as we don’t like to admit it. It’s hard to concentrate on anything else. It has caused a lot of heartaches for those who live in the same house with us, too much of the time. Those who don’t have the passion can never understand why we act the way we do. I really don’t think that we fully understand those forces inside us, which seem to drive us into the wilderness, with all of the passion that it does.
It is only recently, after 63 years, that I have begun to understand it myself.
I have often thought that it was putting meat in the freezer that motivated us. That was a good idea, but it wasn’t all of the answer. I have thought that it was the love of the wilderness that kept us going out there. I think we can all agree that we do love to be in the woods as much as we can. That was also a good thought, but it still wasn’t all of the answer. I have tried to justify it by saying that it was the challenge of the hunt and the desire of trying to out-wit the game, but I knew that too, wasn’t enough.
I have come to the conclusion that in the hearts of some civilized people lives an active, driven, predator instinct. Maybe it is there in most people, but in some of us, it's a very strong, dominating force.
It isn’t something we can turn on or off at will. It isn’t something that we can talk about very easily, but it is something we have to deal with all of the time.
I have had times when it has hard to concentrate on my job, or doing simple chores around the house. Every moment that I could spare was either hunting, reading about it, or watching it on TV. I don’t say this with a sense of pride, because it has been a real problem for me.
I have tried to put it aside long enough to at least socialize with other people. The problem I had was all of the people that I would invite over for a BBQ were hunters too, and that was all we could talk about.
My wife is an avid hunter, but not as obsessed as I am. She likes to talk about it too, but not all of the time. I am lucky to have a wife who likes to hunt, but not all of you hunters out there can claim that.
Some how we must deal with that critter inside and not completely let it run our lives. Some how we must find a way to be able to focus on something else at least part of the time.
While you are trying to get a grip on yourself, I think I will go check out the scope on my rifle, because it's only 11 months until moose camp!
Bubba Hunt, yep, that IS my real last name.:o)