I’m not a real Hunter?
I’m sure anyone in the hunting industry can understand the feeling of getting attacked by anti-hunters and understand the feeling of getting bashed and even death threats for the thing we love most.
But who here has experienced being attacked by fellow hunters?
Well I have! Which actually saddens me that I am writing about this right now, but I feel it’s necessary. I have been scrutinized because I don’t post many so called “trophy pictures”. You know the ones you take after your hunt and your sitting there with your big antlered buck or whatever it is you may have been hunting. I have noticed that when I do post a so called “trophy” picture I do get more “likes” from hunters as opposed to the picture that I actually think is the trophy, the meal on my table. You see while others may think that the trophy is a buck with big antlers to me that’s not my trophy. Just because I don’t post the obligatory trophy picture does not mean I am any less a hunter. And the fact that fellow hunters would call me out as not being a hunter is not helping us band together to keep our tradition alive.
So, let me tell you what the real trophy is to me. The trophy of a hunt to me is the meal on the table. Its seeing all of my hard work being enjoyed by my family and friends. Its seeing all that practice, research and hard work nourish the bodies of the ones I love. The trophy is the memories I created while out in the field. I’ve witnessed the most stunning sun rises and sunsets while hunting that I will never forget. I remember the best times made giggling with friends in a layout blind or sending hand signals to another while in a tree stand. It’s the goofy moments that occur that make you laugh all over again just thinking of it again. Then it’s the memories I make in the kitchen cooking with my family. It’s the memories of laughing while we enjoy my delicious harvest at the table together. Its changing the mind of someone who once thought wild game was terrible. Its showing people what real food should taste like. These are all the trophies to me! These are all the reasons I hunt. I don’t hunt for the trophy picture to post on Instagram. I don’t hunt for more likes or followers. I don’t hunt to try to be someone I’m not. And I certainly don’t hunt to be a star. I simply hunt to eat and the trophy of hunting is all the memories I create while doing it.
I come from a background of being an anti-hunter. I wasn’t raised hunting as a kid with my dad. I stumbled into this lifestyle in my quest for pure organic food. I respect my harvest, it was a life taken from this world. My harvest had a face, it felt love from a mother it romped around and enjoyed its life. Hunting is actually a love hate relationship for me. In order to eat we must hunt, in order to hunt we must take a life. And that life should be respected! That life should not be taken just for a photo opportunity. Its death shouldn’t be slathered across your social media pages in silly poses. I try to show the utmost respect for any animal I harvest. I always feel a sting in my heart when I see my harvest on the floor. So, I take that sting and vow to cherish every part of that animal. I’m grateful for the life I took and I try to show it respect from the moment I take its life. I harvest it myself, I process it myself and I cook it myself I take part in it all. It’s kind of like when a pet passes away some owners can’t be there when their pet is on their death bed and needs them the most. Even though it is hard to watch you owe it to them to be there. That’s how I view my harvest, I took its life so I owe it to that animal to show it the utmost respect even after the harvest.
In my opinion, this is how every hunter should view their harvest. But if thinking this way is wrong, then I’m okay with that. I stand by my views and will not stray from them. But as hunters we shouldn’t bash a fellow hunter because they don’t do things the way you do. If we keep this up we won’t be able to hunt anywhere anymore. We face hard times as it is being hunters. We are constantly battling for public land, battling against those who think we are evil and now battling to keep our guns so that we can go hunting. With all this battling going on the last thing we should do is battle each other because we have different reasons why we hunt.
Let’s stand together and be #hunterstrong