The video above if from a hunting trip to Nebraska in 2010. Both Micah and Noah dropped whitetail deer on opening morning, one of them a nice 10 point buck. I’m off for another hunting trip this week – elk hunting in Colorado – and I’m pondering, “Why do I do this?”
It isn’t easy. I have to work out hard to prepare my body for this. We drive into the trailhead, set up camp, then walk an additional 3 miles to get where we hunt. Every day. This is a 4th season hunt with winter gear and a rifle. Heaven help us if we drop an elk. We’ll have to quarter it and haul it out – piece by piece.
It isn’t cheap. Sure, we’ll have meat in the freezer if we get something. That’s a blessing and all, but compare that with the thousands in hunting gear and much more in the individual trips. High powered rifles are expensive and the ammunition is too. A family my size (we have six hunters this year) is spending a pretty penny to go.
It isn’t timely. Really, I’ve got a ton of other important things I could be doing. Every day in the woods is another day away from the office. We’ll be hunting only two days, but getting up there and getting back is another two days around that. Four days shot (pun intended). If we are blessed with an elk, it’ll be another day on top of that.
If hunting isn’t easy, cheap or timely, why do I go?
Truth is, it’s almost impossible to explain. I just do, and I love it. It’s like I wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t go. Last year I had a heart virus that kept me from going, and it was like I lost a year of my life. The kids went and came home with a load of great stories – and an elk – for the family’s entertainment.
Maybe that’s it. I’m searching for a story. There are few stories better than a wild story. That happens every hunting trip, none quite the same, something peculiar or interesting always happens. Back home we talk about it for days with each other, often mixing in the stories with plans for the next year. And the little kids ask us to repeat the really good stories.
Maybe that has something to do with it. The wild story. What do you think? I have two questions for you:
- If you hunt, why?
- If you don’t hunt, why not? (Especially if you are repulsed by it…I’d love to hear from you.)