Why Do You Hunt?
I honestly believe why I hunt is not a choice; it is a calling that is in my blood. Many friends and relatives started hunting with me at the age of 12, but none hunt today; though, we all had fathers who hunted. I also know men and women who hunt now that did not grow up in a hunting family. I believe why we hunt is not a choice.
The question of “why I hunt?” can be best answered by asking the question
“what do I like about hunting?”
I like the remoteness of hunting in a wilderness that at times is miles from civilization and at other times just yards from civilization and finding my way to a chosen hunting spot in a vast wilderness in the predawn darkness on the first attempt.
I like watching dawn break second by second, inch by inch on the eastern ridge that brings with it the anticipation of the days hunt and mid-day breaks that bring with it the reality of the days hunt. I like the weight of a pack on my shoulders. It signifies a sense of self-reliance that I am alone and on my own, for the time being.
I like setting up camp, the smell of canvas, wood smoke, the dim glow of light from a wood stove illuminating cots, sleeping bags, bows & arrows, boots, cook table, and the glow given off from a tent under a star lit sky, with a heavy frost.
I like seeing sign whether it is tracks, rubs, wallows, beds, droppings, but most of all the odor of a rutting bull or buck and the surprise of seeing an animal in a clearing that just moments ago was empty.
I like sounds of the hunt…rain falling on a tent, the crackle of a woodstove fire, my breathing while climbing a steep ridge, the call of a raptor far above me, the bugle of a bull in the distance, the ‘yap’ of a coyote momentarily waking me from a sound sleep, the silence of snow falling, and the echo of my rifle reverberating off a canyon wall.
The main reason I hunt is a lean, tough 29-year-old that tells me I’m the toughest ‘old guy’ he knows, my son TJ. There is an excitement that I look forward to each year from discussing/arguing where we are to go, applying for tags, drawing tags, preparing equipment, traveling to the state we drew tags in, setting up camp and hunting together.
So, as you can see, at the age of 66, why I hunt is because I just feel better dressed in camo.
Tom Kleinosky, Pennsylvania