Regular readers may recognize a gap between my announcement that I was hunting back to the woods for the annual moose hunt, my return and the lack of update around what happened. Those who have been around these parts for longer know what’s coming but I wanted to invite the rest of you to join in the journey.
In the next 9 days I will be posting my complete diary from 9 days in the forest as I participated in the Ontario Moose Hunt. The posts will be as sensitive as possible as I understand this is a divisive topic. My initial posting on hunting (aptly called ‘Confessions of a one-time vegetarian‘) provides a lot more detail on the topic and my difficulties in writing about it. In short, it’s an activity that I am immensely proud of yet sometimes struggle to participate in at the same time. It’s also something I was taught not to discuss in public from the time I was a child.
I hope you’ll consider coming along with the journey and that you’ll share your comments, ideas and thoughts. I’ll expect we all treat each other with civility when we disagree but also challenge each other to consider new concepts and ideas – this, of course, applies to me as well.
Many may wonder why I have such a dramatic pretext – it is only tied into personal experience and the consistent experience of my youth that speaking of hunting in public generally went poorly. I remember a Science Teacher who once publicly berated me for skipping a day of school for the harvest and then explained that she fished and often killed fish without eating them. That was wrong in my world but it didn’t escape me that what I was doing was just as wrong in hers. I understand that the topic is sensitive and divisive.
The topic of hunting is largely misunderstood – often because of the portrayal of some members of the hunting community at large. Our cabin is a food camp; we eat everything that we kill and have done so on the same land for longer than I have been alive. We apply for licenses and are able to harvest very selectively (our cabin of 14 men can kill 1 adult female moose and several calves during the 6-days of Moose Hunting in our area this year).
In the next 8 days I will post daily journal entries exactly one-week after they are written. You’ll be able to follow along with our daily challenges and successes and hopefully experience a bit about what the hunt is about. I will not expose you to shock-value or gory pictures – the intent is to open dialogue and not throw it in the face of an unsuspecting group of curious people and friends.
It is my hope that by sharing a lot more of what happens that we will demystify what happens and open conversation to discuss the role of wild game as part of the food chain. It’s difficult to argue that hunting will ever be kinder than a vegetarian lifestyle but compared to some practices mass agriculture, birth control for deer or the lack of sustainable fishing practices I am hoping to discuss alternatives.