A couple of weeks ago, Montana Decoy published one of my articles – “Why We Hunt”. It is a manifesto of sorts, which I wrote a couple of years ago. The piece connected with thousands of hunters across the country, and it was nice to see dozens of comments from readers that appreciated the perspective.
But there are always detractors. I have come to expect that, and welcome the challenges that are genuine and thoughtful.
One commenter vehemently took issue with the topic (anonymously, of course), and railed that hunting is a hobby – like golf, or mechanics, or “sandwich eating” – and nothing more. He went so far as to say that,
“[My] line of thinking is so idiotic, it’s embarrassing for all the rest of hunterdom.”
Is that how you see things?
I think that hunting is a hobby. It is done – in accordance with the definition of the word “hobby” – with “leisure” and “pleasure”. Hunting doesn’t have to be, and is often better when, not taken so seriously. But even when hunting is recreational, there’s still something deeper happening.
The solemn act of killing a living creature cannot be equated with clubbing after a ball.
Participating in the conservation of our nation’s wildlife and wild lands cannot be equated with the restoration of a muscle car.
The process of studying, pursuing, killing, processing, preserving, and preparing your own, ethically harvested meat cannot be equated with the simple act of, as the commenter said, “eating a sandwich.”
At least not for me.
Is hunting a hobby? Yes. But, oh, is it so much more!