• BY PGS

So why do we like to hunt?

Well that depends on who you ask. For the most part you’ll probably hear a response that sounds like “I love the wilderness” or “I just love being out there” or even “it’s something I was introduced to by my father”. What you’ll find consistent in all the answers is the passion you’ll hear from all that pursue its rewards.

To dig a little deeper, it’s more likely that from an instinctual level as a ‘animal’, it’s something we’ve always done. The fact that we have been successful as a species is testimony to this. We know from broad and diverse archeological evidence that hunting, fishing and gathering preceded farming in the human time line by many thousands of years. We are hunters. Our bodies are designed as ‘persistence hunters’ optimised to track and chase our prey to an end. In evolutionary terms it was a highly successful tactic and got us the meat that fueled the development of our brains which made us the successful species we are. Now, whether it’s to fill your freezer with venison or just be in the wilderness and escape the traps of modern life, the one thing we can all agree on it is that it’s a huge privilege. In these modern, sanitized times, it’s a distinct pleasure to carry out an atavistic and basic pastime where skill, experience, fitness and attention to your environment will reflect success or failure.

Hunting has obviously changed a lot over the last 300 hundred years but the principles have remained the same. The equipment we use these days is generally more advanced but in some cases this is not so. Many highly successful hunters choose to use a bow instead of a rifle, to hunt their game. And sure, most hunters don’t personally hunt and kill every meal they eat and modern life delivers food to us a very sterile way. But hunters, more than most in modern society, fully appreciate that this meat was an animal, to be respected and revered for it’s worth. The meat came from a living and vital animal, not merely Coles or Woolworths. Hunters are also necessarily highly integrated into the environment and very clearly damage and changes that effect the ecosystems. In many cases hunters are excellent advocates for reserves and the most responsible co-existence with flora and fauna.

The land we hunt is shrinking due to the ever expanding reach of modern civilization. That coupled with our busy lifestyles play a large part in the time we get to carry out these wonderful and fulfilling pursuits. In the most part hunters fall into the category of hard working like-minded people with a high appreciation for the natural world. This being said, it’s our responsibility to maintain the high standards expected of us as hunters. Responsible hunting and fishing standards fall on all of us to upkeep.

So next time you draw your bow, load your rifle or cast your rod remember to ask yourself am I doing the right thing! Let the little one walk past, throw the small ones back and above all, am I being safe?