As the date of my hunting tag draws near I have been overwhelmed with emotions. Especially since starting this blog because I intend to use it as a platform to share my hunting experiences, even if it isn’t a conventional topic of conversation. So I asked myself, how do I introduce this concept of hunting that is somewhat foreign to most people and especially foreign to most women? That question led me to another question, why do I hunt?
I grew up on cattle ranch, in a small town centrally located in my home state of New Mexico. Growing up in a small town, especially in a community that is largely influenced by farming and ranching, hunting came with the lifestyle. Hunting came with the territory, our culture. I grew up hunting smaller game, mainly coyotes, we aimed to keep the population down on the ranch because they posed as a large problem for our cattle, especially during calving season. It wasn’t until two years ago my boyfriend introduced me to big game hunting and I instantly became hooked.
There has never been one definitive answer as to why exactly I hunt. There are a number of things that incline me to hunt, from my background/upbringing, to the outdoors and the animals we see deep into the back country, a world that is so untouched by the modern world. I harvested my first Mule Deer last fall, picture above. There’s controversy over the “grip-n-grin”, but the truth is, the picture is so much more, it’s a memory that will last me a lifetime and a memory to share with my kids.
There seems to be a bit of a stigma about hunting, it tends to be associated with this idea of barbaric, hillbilly like behavior, when in all reality, what we are doing is not only counting out the middle man (grocery store) by going directly to the source, we are playing our part in conserving wildlife. In my state, by law a hunter must take the edible portions of their harvest, which includes: all four quarters, 90% of meat taken (backstraps and tenderloins) and at least 75% of the neck meat. The hunters I know are not only educated on the animals they hunt but recognize the importance of conservation and how to hunt ethically.
One of the most rewarding parts about hunting and harvesting an animal is that the animal you harvest will feed you and your family. Earning and providing my family with organic meat, from field to table is an unexplainable feeling -not to mention it all tastes so good. There is no better feeling, how grateful you are to the animal, how humbled you are from the adventure and how connected you are with nature. There is something that is very instinctive and primal about hunting, harvesting and breaking the animal down, it is in our nature. I will be forever grateful for the animals I have harvested, the hunts I have been a part of, the time spent with family and all the hunts to come.
When I sat down to write this post I knew I wouldn’t be able to cover it all in one post, so there will undoubtedly be more hunting posts to come. I encourage all of you to educate yourself on the topic, get outside and consider experiencing this world for yourself.
Here is a link to the Rocky Mountain Elk foundations article, “25 Reasons Why Hunting Is Conservation”. I encourage you to give this a read, it is full of facts and does a good job of explaining a little more about hunters and hunting.
Comment down below if you or anyone you know hunts? Questions about hunting, did I miss anything? Please leave a comment down below.
Until next time, Courtney.