I’ve said before that every man should be a hunter. I haven’t said why every man should be a hunter. Well, I’m going to remedy that now.
I don’t just go around saying things because they sound good or because I heard somebody else say them. I say things because I believe in what I say 100%. Its the absolute truth as far as I’m concerned, and if you disagree, that’s too bad man.
As promised, the three reasons you should be a hunter:
- THE MEAT
- THE EXPERIENCE
- THE EXERCISE
Let’s elaborate on those a little.
First things first: THE MEAT.
Do you buy the “organic” meat at your favorite supermarket? Do you know if its REALLY “organic”? What the hell does “organic” even mean?
The definition I’ve found via google is “of, relating to, or derived from living matter”.
Yeah, you can say that about corn flakes and toe nails too.
I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the meat I harvest from the animal I shot and dragged and strung up is 100% pure. The only thing that entered that animal’s body was acorns and corn and such. If something is suspect, I can physically inspect its stomach and liver and find out.
On top of the certainty that my meat isn’t tainted, I get to eat the best parts before they’ve ever been frozen.
Nobody packed my meat up and froze it, shipped it across the country, thawed it, cut it, froze it again, shipped it again, thawed it again, and put it in the window.
I can cut the meat right off the animal, wash it, and fry it right there if I feel like it. I do that with the best part, the backstrap (loin and tenderloin together) sometimes. I usually prefer to age the meat, but as the hunter, the option is mine. Doesn’t get any fresher than that, folks.
Finally, you get all the benefits of eating red meat. Zinc, Iron, B-vitamins, etc. Extra iron if you exclusively cook in cast iron like me.
Its possible to get too much zinc and too much iron, but I eat venison almost every single day and take additional zinc in supplement form as well and I haven’t experienced any negative effects. Your mileage may vary, but I doubt it.
Be a man and eat your red meat.
Next, there’s THE EXPERIENCE.
In Combat Shooting with Massad Ayoob in the chapter on past gunfighters, I read about Jim Cirillo. He was a part of the New York Stakeout Squad. It came as no surprise to me that the stakeout squad preferred to employ officers that were also hunters.
The reason for this is simple.
TO BE A HUNTER IS TO BE A KILLER.
You’ve already crossed that line. You don’t have to think about whether or not you have it in you.
You know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if the shit hit the fan that you are able to cross that line.
You don’t have to wonder what you’d do if someone or something tried to hurt you or your family.
You already know.
It cannot be overstated how important that knowledge of yourself is. Fuck self doubt. You’re a killer.
It’s not all killing though. Actually its less than 1% killing. Most of it is waiting.
All that waiting. That’s why a lot of people say they don’t want to hunt. They don’t want to get up early to climb a tree and sit and wait and MAYBE see a deer they MIGHT want to shoot. I can’t argue with them.
Almost every time you go hunting, you won’t see a deer. As a matter of fact, I’d be absolutely shocked if you saw one at all your first year (unless you do everything exactly right). Most of it is sitting alone in nature.
Sitting in the tranquility of nature. Watching the sun rise over a beautiful sprawling landscape.
No buzzing phone with spam emails dinging. No annoying people walking around, chattering mindlessly about their oh-so-terrible job/boss/husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend/etc. No noise but the chirping birds and the wind in the trees.
At least, until you hear the rustling of hooves on freshly fallen leaves.
You’re just about guaranteed to get buck fever.
It’s like Christmas morning for big boys. Its like a high. Its an almost indescribable feeling.
I don’t know the science behind it but it feels like a cocktail of every bad ass hormone in your body releasing simultaneously to give you the edge to bag that animal like a fucking cave man stalking its prey.
Its a response programmed into us that has been there since before history was being recorded.
When you feel that, you’re connecting with something very primal that most modern men don’t even think exists anymore. They think it doesn’t exist anymore because they’ve never experienced it.
Its like “you” fades away and all that is left is your instinct.
If you’re not a hunter, then the only other ways I can think of where you might have felt this is if you’ve ever been in a real fight or if you’ve ever had real (as in, REALLY GOOD) sex.
You don’t even feel human, you feel like a fucking animal. Its a great feeling.
Finally, there’s THE EXERCISE.
Let’s get one thing out of the way up front. Hunting isn’t hiking. If you’re trying to run a business then incorporating being a hunter into your lifestyle means you’re not going on trips to do it.
You’re parking near a road or trail on land you own or have permission to hunt, carrying your gear into the woods, finding a good tree, climbing it, and hoping to see a deer.
You’ll usually be in the woods for maybe five or six hours if you hunt like me. If you hunt like most hunters, you won’t be gone that long. You’re gone less time than most people spend working and most people spend very little time working.
Your gear should be as heavy as possible.
You’re going to go into the woods with your stand and your bag and all your other gear strapped to your back.
You’re going to have a rifle or bow or whatever you hunt with in your hand.
You’re going to carry it all the way from your vehicle to your tree.
You’re going to climb up the tree with it.
You’re going to get a nice long break from carrying it, during which time you’re going to remain perfectly still and your every muscle will be sore from that stillness.
You might shoot a deer. Maybe.
You will then climb back down that tree carrying all that heavy gear.
You will carry all that gear back to your vehicle. If you shot a deer, you’re going to drag that dead weight AND carry all that gear back to your vehicle.
If you’re lazy, you’re probably thinking, “Wow, I didn’t know it was that much work. I’m definitely never going to be a hunter.”
If that’s your thought, then get the hell off my site.
You should be thinking, “Wow, I didn’t realize I could get in an extra workout or two, connect with my horribly neglected primal nature, and get the freshest meat I’ve ever had in my entire life. I need to find somebody to help me become a hunter this year.”
That is, by the way, my recommendation.
FIND A HUNTER WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY’RE DOING TO TEACH YOU.
Don’t go running off with a potentially unsafe gun and a potentially unsafe stand and no safety equipment and expect everything to go smoothly.
You’ll probably get yourself killed.
If you absolutely can’t find someone who knows what they’re doing and you still want to go, then limit yourself to hunting on the ground. Make sure to wear your orange.
Also keep in mind that I’m not responsible for anything you do.
Consider this a DISCLAIMER: If you get yourself shot because you didn’t wear orange, that’s your fault and not mine. If you shoot someone because you’re careless and didn’t verify your target, that’s on you, not me. Any stupid thing you do that brings harm to yourself or others is 100% your fault and not mine.
Its a lot simpler to just get someone to take you.
Find a hunt club if you can’t find someone on your own. Sign up and get one of the old timers to show you the ropes. They’ll probably be glad to welcome you to the fold.
Quit the club once you’ve got enough experience to not kill yourself AND you’ve found someone that will let you hunt on their property (assuming you don’t already have property to hunt on).
It doesn’t matter what route you take to get there.
The important thing is to make this year the year you become a hunter.
Get after it.