Hunting 101: The Good, The Bad, and The Bloody

Why are you reading this blog entry? Seriously. Have you thought about it? Most of you have had the opportunity to ask yourself this question, but for the rest of you I will pose it now: Why, in the name of everything that is holy, would you want to start hunting?

I ask this in all seriousness. We, in our infinitely-advanced socially-conscious society, have the ability to raise all the meat our diet requires. We can (and sometimes) do so in a humane, controlled environment designed to raise the healthiest, happiest, disease-free meatsacks known to the history of Man, outside of Eden. And we don’t even have to be involved in the process. All we have to do is fork over a couple $2.99/lb debit charges to have someone we don’t even meet raise, kill, clean, butcher, and store our protein for us. You do not even have to get your hands dirty, let alone bloody and gross.

So why do you want to learn how to hunt? Do you have an answer yet? It absolutely boggles my mind, in America, that this is something you need to have, but it is. Because, as some of you have come to realize, even if you are not bothering your fellow Man with your activities, your activities might, in fact, bother them. Vehemently.

I want to use this blog to teach you DIYers all about hunting (and fishing too!) in California and elsewhere, about the mechanics, method, and art of it. But I also want to use it as a way to educate you about what is going on in the world of wildlife science & management, wildlife legislation, and how hunting is, for lack of a better phrase, a way of life worth saving. I also want YOU to educate ME about what this new generation of hunters needs, in the way of support, education, and connectivity. Because without it, without you caring and advocating, I fear our children will have no choice but to buy their meat in pretty packages, and the joy of homemade elk sausage and wild pheasant raviolis will be lost.

Most of you are familiar with this concept, because of your choice to be an active participant in your food-shed, however big or small that may be. Hunting… , should you choose to accept this mission, is going to take you to a whole other level (past 11!). What I am getting out of this is if I can educate and inspire even ONE of you, I can die happy. But I’d be lying if I wasn’t hoping for many more. And if you’re just interested in increasing your zombie apocalypse skill-set, by all means, I will cover that as well.

So, back to it. Your reason for hunting? Do you have it, is it firmly in mind? Maybe write it down. If you have more than one that is even better. Here are some examples:

  • I want to be an active participant in my food-shed and hunting is the next progression in that.
  • I want to eat the free-est range, most organic meat possible!
  • I learned valuable lessons from hunting, and want to continue that with my children.
  • If God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat, or so delicious.
  • I want to hunt because animals have evolved with humans over the past 40,000 years and it’s our responsibility to manage their populations so that future generations can enjoy consumptive and non-consumptive use of our wildlife.

I will give you one guess what my reason is. Well, it is ONE of the many reasons I hunt. But it is the biggest reason as to why I chose my career.

So WHY is having a reason important? Because, at some point you will have to defend your choice to do so. And to make matters worse,  the ability to hunt is not a right. I want to make that clear. It’s like having a driver license. Or, apparently, growing your own food. The privilege of hunting can be taken away. By the Grace of your Legislators do you retain the ability to go forth and harvest your own wild meat. This is why I spoke of advocating earlier. Because we are coming to a point in California, when the ability to hunt is being questioned, and certain groups are actively trying to insure that you lose this privilege. The future of hunting in America is, literately, in your hands.

Next time: Hunting 102:  Where the Wild Things Are, and Are Not.


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