First off, let's talk about nature. I love being in nature. I find myself most at peace when I'm hiking around, sitting in the middle of nowhere without the modern distractions of life in a city. I can get lost (hopefully not literally) out there. There is so much going on out in the woods, way up high in the mountains, so much that I'd never see if I didn't go out there. You can call it spiritual, you can call it tranquil, you can call it whatever you want, but for me, it's peace. It's wild. It's natural. The photos in this post are all of various hunts I've been on in the last five years.
But Cody! You can do that without hunting. Why do you have to hunt to get out in nature, you might ask? Well, I suppose I could, and I have. However, there is something inside that awakens when I'm hunting, or scouting. Something primal that I think hearkens back to the early days of man. When I'm out there, I'm always looking. I'm looking for animals. I'm looking for game trails and sign. I'm always evaluating my surroundings and asking myself if that spot would be a good place to set up come hunting season. Where are the animals moving? Where are they eating? What's the nearest source of water? It keeps my mind sharp.
Let's get one thing straight. Hunting isn't easy. There is a lot of work that goes into hunting. Even with the advantage of modern rifles, you still have to find the animal, get within shooting range, and be a good shot. Then, if you are lucky enough to be at the right place, at the right time, and pull off the right shot, you might harvest an animal. The hard work doesn't stop there. There is a lot that has to happen once you harvest an animal, but we won't get into those details now.
So you might ask, why do I do it? A couple of reasons. First, it's natural. Humans have been hunting pretty much since they figured out how to sharpen a stick or throw a rock. Animals hunt other animals. There is prey and there are predators. To me, hunting feels right. Having to work that hard for food makes having that food even more enjoyable. Which brings me to the second point, it's organic. You can't get any more organic than hunting in my opinion. I don't care how many labels you slap on a package, nothing will replace the natural meat obtained from the harvest of an animal. I've been told before that hunting is cruel, or inhumane, yet the people telling me this still ate meat from the store. You want to talk about cruel or inhumane, watch some videos on how those animals were raised and subsequently slaughtered. 95% of my red meat consumption at home throughout the year comes from harvested game animals and local ranchers I know and trust. You might have seen pictures of me smiling next to a harvested animal. I wasn't smiling because I was the "big, bad hunter" who just killed an elk or a deer. I'm smiling because all the work culminated in the fact that I obtained my goal. I'm smiling because if it were a different world, and my family was depending on me to provide we'd have food to eat. I'm smiling because I've just taken part of a natural process. Every time I cook a meal at home using the meat, I'm reminded of what I went through to get that meat and it makes a deeper experience cooking and eating it.