The desire to kill may have been misinterpreted by you as the desire to ach- ieve a “kill” which would mean one has been successful in their endeavor to hunt. That is not to say there aren’t some hunters who truley love to kill and love to beat their dogs or may even be murderers. But the my experiences have been that most hunters do indeed respect their prey.Sadly, there are “slob hunters” who are no better than you make them out to be. However, the majority are not so callous.
Most trips afield, especially for big game, such as deer, are unsuccessful in terms of animals harvested. Success lies in the hunting, not the killing. Hunting is the only time in my life when my mind is clearly focused and not buzzing with competing thoughts. Slipping through the woods, I may pause to watch a young raccoon at the waters edge searching for crawfish or frogs. A coyote in a woodland meadow chasing mice is a thrill. Cardinals courting, bluejays harassing an owl, grouse drumming. All are part of the hunting experience. All may be experienced without hunting, and are. Hunting just brings greater intensity.
The kill causes mixed emotions. There is satisfaction in cooking and eating game you’ve outwitted. Don’t think it’s easy to slip within 20-30 yards of a deer in the wild. It’s not a petting zoo. Getting into position for a clean shot and drawing a bow on an alert animal without being spotted is excruciatingly difficult. However, seeing a beautiful animal such as a white- tailed deer lying cold and lifeless is tremendously saddening. Yes, there is some guilt. But this is real. This is life, and death. It is the way of the wild, and I wish to be as much a part of it as possible. The hunter must accept the fact that he kills to eat. Others simply pay people to do what they can’t and buy their meat at restaurants and supermarkets.