Why do I hunt?
Submitted By: Pete Gamet ©2005 on 8/25/2005
Different people have asked me over the years as to why I hunt. I usually
don't have a clear definite answer as to why. I guess I never really thought
about it till now. I suppose I have my reasons why I hunt. So here they are.
First of all, I didn't always like to hunt. I didn't go hunting growing up. I
went fishing instead. I moved around a lot and at times I lived in the city. Not
much opportunity to go hunting in a urban environment.
I started hunting after I served four years in the United States Army. For me,
it was a way to get away and be by myself. Let's face it, I spent a good part of
my military career with a weapon in my hands. That was normal to me and hunting
was a way have those feelings again. For just under a year, I did everything with
my weapon by my side. I worked, ate and slept with my M-16A2. My weapon was a
part of me, I had grown used to having it by me. Coming home from a combat zone
and leaving the military was a transition for me. The last thing I wanted to do,
at that time was carry a weapon.
My cousin suggested hunting with a bow and took me with him my first two years
that I hunted. Then it was just to get away from work and to be by myself. Those
first couple of years was a learning experience. I didn't realize just how much I
enjoyed experiencing the outdoors and watching the wildlife.
Those first years were a time to learn and experiment. A lot of trial and
error went into my hunting and more times than not I came home empty handed. I
made almost every mistake imaginable but I kept trying and learned from my
mistakes. I still make mistakes, just not as many.
So why do I still hunt after years of mistakes and botched hunts? The
experience is what keeps me going back year after year. I can remember getting
into my treestand before the crack of dawn and seeing a turkey roosting in the
next tree. When a red squirrel decided to climb on my treestand with me in it.
When a great horned owl perched itself a few trees from me and we watched each
other for a half hour. When two dominant does decided they wanted to fight over a
patch of clover. When a fawn wanted to play in rain just like a little kid,
jumping from mud puddle to mud puddle. I have plenty more memories but these are
the more memorable ones.
Hunting has given me the chance to view different animals in their natural
habitat and environment. Over the years I have witnessed rabbits, fox, turkeys,
raccoon, opossum, mink, otter, grouse, pheasant, hawks, owls, different song
birds, squirrel and deer all acting natural. Hunting is experiencing the outdoors
on different terms than what we are used to. Hunting is more than taking of game;
it is listening, watching and learning. Hunting is sharing an experience with my
boys and watching their reaction when an animal comes into view.
I could still watch the wildlife from a distance and not visit the woods or
fields but that isn't the point. Hunting is getting in, up close and personal for
me. If you don't know what I am talking about try having a doe with fawns right
under you while you are in a treestand. It is the excitement you feel when that
big buck comes into view and your heart pounds and you can't control your
breathing. It's getting the shakes when you try to draw back on the buck of a
lifetime. Having the wits scared out of you when a doe surprises you as you walk
to your stand in the early morning.
Hunting is the experience, the rush of being up close and personal, the
enjoyment of watching my boys' reactions and getting away from civilization. I
hunt for all the above reasons and then some. Do I have to take an animal every
time I go out, no I don't. Will I still go hunting years from now, yes I