"Yep, It's gettin to be dat time o' year... " ~Da Yoopers.
Sorry, for the cheezy song line, but it's definitely a tradition around our house this time of year. It's hunting time. It's been a couple of years, but this year I decided to put in for a hunting tag that was a little more promising and I managed to draw out for it. So now, rather than hunt for our Rocky Mountain Mule Deer during the typical five day hunt with thousands of other hunters, I get to go out three weeks earlier, with many fewer hunters, during the Elk Season. Guess what else? I not only drew for a deer tag, but for an elk as well. So basically I have a double opportunity to hunt for game this season.
I know there are lots of people that are very much opposed to hunting and simply cannot stand the idea of someone out to take the life of "Bambi". In fact, to be honest, there are a lot of good reasons I think that people can be opposed to hunting, or more to the point I think that there are a lot of reasons for people to be opposed to some hunters. There are those that yell and whoop when they've harvested their animals and then parade them in clear view for all to see on their way home with it. I guess I look at the act of hunting in a little bit different sort of way. I have to admit that when I have taken a buck, it's been a rush; there's a certain satifying feeling that comes with the successful end of a good hunt. I do try to respect the animal though, and respect others that are still on their hunt or that are just out enjoying the woods.
I haven't talked about it a ton, but there are a lot of ethical reasons I see for a person harvesting their own meats. Whether it is taking the life of a chicken, pig or steer, or harvesting a wild animal during the hunting season I truely believe that if a person is going to eat meat, they should be willing to be a part in all aspects of bringing that animal to the table. There's a personal connection that one gets from actually being a part in that process. From taking it's life, to knowing how it was handled and cared for, to preparing it with care and enjoying it with your family and friends.
Of course, there are a lot of other reason to hunt than just to put meat on the table. It's one of the few occasions in this busy, rush-rush time of ours that we have the chance to just sit... still... and watch. That and the fact that it takes place at one of the best and most beautiful times of the year makes for good times whether animals are found or not.
I thought I'd share a couple of pictures of the kind of country that I'll be hunting in this week: