Monthly Archives: November 2012

That’s Hunting

 Photo of Luke Morrison in the Limpopo, RSA Botswana border region 2011, by Angus Morrison.

 That’s Hunting

Shots only sometimes go as one wishes. A perfect, deadly stalk is even less common. Oddly, the hunter seldom remembers the greatest stalks and shots, but more typically the worst. It is the pains of our pursuit that exemplify what we as hunters do more than the moments of glory. The failures often stand in our minds more so than the successes, they are also what makes us question what we do so deeply. Our pangs of failure render the great sport a spiritual endeavour which pools as deep as our millennia of evolution, an endeavour so tightly ensnared with our success as a species as to never leave the psyche of those who will not forget, can not forget even by choice, where we came from. Today, the failure hurts less our physiology and instead our spirit. We grow from the failure and suffering, grounding us, stoning us into contemplation over life’s true struggles and challenges.

We too are the animals we hunt. We share in their pain at the bad shot, curse ourselves and sample but a tiny, hideous portion of their agony, at times swearing off the hunt. We likewise consume defeat in our missed opportunities; the beast you didn’t see at your feet until it left, the shot you rushed and bitterly missed, the stalk you ruined with the crack of a single unseen twig under foot. Those of the old strain however, always come back; the good ones vow to do better. We often do, but will still sample failure, as it would be killing, not hunting, were failure to be somehow removed. Killing is as distasteful as the word itself. Those who hunt should ask themselves why they hunt, is it for the deep, dark, beauty and adventure the hunt sorely provides, so devoid in an ever shrinking, ever more divergent life from our role as an animal? If the answer is no, I am not familiar with what follows as an explanation. No hunter is.