Monday, October 27, 2014

Back to hunting...

After an absence from hunting of about 6 years, I finally accepted an invitation by Kevin Kossowan and Jeff Senger to join them in Southern Alberta for a few days of shotgun swinging and bowstring pulling. What an amazing time I had and something funny happened on the way to the field.

I've hunted for most of my life. For whatever reason, since I can remember, I have wanted to hunt things and eat them. Some of my fondest memories of childhood include wandering the nearby forests with bow in hand and a folded section of tin foil in my pocket. The hope was to be able to get an arrow into some form of small game and then cook it up.

Over the years, my hunting evolved into something different. Evolved is perhaps the wrong word, for it evokes a sense of improvement or development in a positive direction. That is simply not the case though as I discovered on my most recent trip with food minded hunter friends Kevin and Jeff. For whatever reason, my hunting over the years had morphed away from food and became strictly trophy based. The meat became almost an inconvenience, something that had to be dealt with by law so as not to be wasted. I eventually became both disconnected and disappointed with my hunting activities. Switching from efficient compound bows in the mid-90's to more and more primitive weapons kept things interesting for sure. But the hunting became a chore, something that kept me from my family and made unsuccessful trips all the more unacceptable. Eventually, I quit hunting altogether.

Enter this most recent trip. Traditional bow in hand, the joy of good friends and laughing. A chance to get away from a hard Fall season of business and harvest. But most importantly...a chance to make some food! Back to my youthful feeling of the joy of the field with the prospect of getting to eat something I had a hand in harvesting from the wild. But the bow, an heirloom Bear Kodiak from 1956, while beautiful and easy shooting, was viewed by one particular friend as "pretentious". What?! Me pretentious? While the comment was made in the most friendly of contexts, it really hit home. Here I was with only 3 days available and desperately wanting to make some ingredients for charcuterie with a weapon in my hand that made it ever more difficult to achieve my goal.

Kevin Kossowan's Photo

The day after I arrived home from such a great trip, the laptop opened Ebay. Within two more days I had purchased my first modern compound bow since more than 20 years ago. I look forward already to enjoying next year's hunting season with a much more efficient weapon and a greater chance at putting something in the charcuterie cabinet...and friends that find me ever so slightly less pretentious.

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