I believe hunting is a force of good in nature.
When done right.
And done right, in my view, is through a philosophy of hunting in service of future generations.
But how do we ensure hunting is a force of good in nature?
As hunters, we need to be selective in what animals we shoot to preserve a healthy population (for us and for future generations). On that basis, we establish a set of management criteria.
Conservation and management are essential aspects, but they can also get a little clinical.
Developing a sense of awe and a sense of adventure is critical for our ability to connect with nature. To become true stakeholders in nature.
With that in place, we need to get to our hunting ground and back again. Our hunting success depends on our ability to thrive in the wild and foresee any challenges.
As we're out, we are focused on the job at hand. And we will hunt the animal, with maximum efficiency.
When we get back, we cook wild food for family and friends. To tie it all together.
The five roles
I sum these activities up in five roles.
- The conservationist
- The adventurer
- The outdoorsman
- The efficient hunter
- And the cook
The conservationist is vital for creating a heritage. And for making hunting a force of good in nature.
I've always understood the need for conservation. But I've never had a clear definition on how to be a conservationist.
I found that definition in a quote. In the book "The Unforeseen Wilderness - Kentucky's Red River Gorge" by Wendell Berry.
Here's what Wendell Berry has to say:
"We can learn about it from exceptional people of our own culture, and from other cultures less destructive than ours.
I am speaking of the life of a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children."
The adventurer is critical for developing a sense of awe. Which builds a connection with nature.
I also think it makes you a better hunter. You become more observant.
I think that's best done when you make an effort to enjoy both the big and small adventures that nature has to offer.
Everything from studying a busy anthill or a beautiful flower. To rigging up an overland expedition into the wild.
The outdoorsman creates the foundation for hunting. You do that by building a logistical base that allows you to thrive in the wild.
It's about due diligence. And the skills to get you out and back.
The efficient hunter
As an efficient hunter, you implement conservation plans. And harvest meat for wild food.
It's about a job well done. Not just something you try to be good at. But something you obsess about.
You work hard. You are one of the 15.8%. And you're on a continuous journey to optimise and become more efficient.
And how you can get better at it.
The cook creates the connection between hunting and conservation.
Eating wild food establishes a symbiosis between humans and nature.
It enables you to be part of nature. And not apart from nature.
Cooking is the key that ties it all together.
Collectively, these roles represent the kind of hunter I strive to be.
A Steward of Nature.
I hope you will reflect on them. And maybe see yourself in a new light.
Maybe you'd like to hear more about the five roles. And how to implement them.
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