A hunting philosophy inspired by an unusual book about leadership

Do you have a hunting philosophy?

Here's mine, and a bit about what we (hunters) can learn about performance and achievement from soldiers. 

I don't know about you, but I'm best when I am 100% clear on my purpose.

And I want to see the logic in what I do. Things have to make sense.

But when it came to hunting, something was missing.

I have developed a framework to help me get better as a hunter. 

I call it "the Steward of Nature".

It's the recipe for "how" I hunt.

I've talked about it in other posts. This article is about the challenge I had explaining it to myself.

I was happy with the components. The roles, principles, tools and techniques.

And it was clear to me that hunting is a force of good in nature.

But I couldn't explain why this way of hunting was right for me.

Things started to connect when I read a book about leadership called Leaders Eat Last. By Simon Sinek.

One of the ideas in the book is the concept of service.

That great leaders approach leadership from the point of view of service. Serving the organisation. And serving their team.

It made me realise there are two philosophical approaches to hunting.

Related to why we hunt.

We can hunt for our own pleasure.

Or we can hunt in service of something greater than us.

Like service of nature and future generations.

That idea is based on how we're wired as human beings. And how we survived as a species.

In his book, Simon Sinek talks about the two reward systems in our body.

One system is about individual reward and endurance. It's what makes you play candy crush for 12 hours straight on your phone…

The other is about social reward and connection. Doing something for someone else. Like the feeling of fulfilment you get when you help that old lady who's dropped her bag of groceries.

We need both (but not candy crush).

In essence, the two systems have helped us develop as a species. By fostering individual achievement. Combined with our ability to work as a group.

I realised we can apply that to hunting.

It means you have to make a choice.

You can hunt in service of yourself.

Or you can add a layer and hunt in service of something greater.

Like future generations.

I've chosen the latter.

Ultimately, I hunt in service of my kids.

For their ability to hunt and gather wild food.

And by the way, that also means serving nature through conservation.

More on that in another post.

To put this into context, Simon Sinek use soldiers as an example.

They work relentlessly on personal achievement and performance.

But they do it in a context of ultimate self-sacrifice for the group.

They serve their team.

Hunting is, of course, not service or sacrifice at the same level. But the idea applies.

And I want to stress this.

Personal performance is the foundation for service. Not the opposite part of a scale.

My point is we can work hard on being better and more successful hunters. We must.

And we can enjoy the personal reward that comes with accomplishing what we set out to do.

But we can also combine it with a longer-term perspective. To make sure we hunt in a way that preserves hunting for future generations.

So what does that mean for you?

I firmly believe you can become a better hunter by clarifying why you hunt.

And I believe you will be a more fulfilled hunter if you choose to hunt in service of future generations.

Playing candy crush will only stimulate us to a certain point… Seeing a greater meaning with hunting drives us further.

I try to hunt in service of my kids. And their ability to hunt wild food themselves. I'm not perfect, but I reflect and adjust.

What's your approach to hunting?

Whatever your choice, I hope you got some food for thought. And I hope it will help make you a better hunter.