So I keep seeing this subject come up more and more… And really it’s a little troublesome to me. Mainly because it has caused a bit of rift between brothers so to speak. Everyone does this for a different reasons but the majority of us still have the same love for hunting, the game we hunt and the outdoors..Â It goes deeper than this one specific topic: gun hunter vs bow hunters, Mathews shooters vs everyone else, weekend warriors vs die hards….. those are all topicsÂ for another post… However I bring them up to make one point before I get into this discussion… It is getting harder and harderÂ for us as hunters to do what we love and if we want this sport to last we need to show a unified front because the anti-hunting groupsÂ are far better organized than we as a whole. You see how fast crap goes viral look at the Cecile the Lion BS. When we do something good it only goes viral within our niche not worldwide… SO think about that next time you want to waste your energy picking a fight with a guy because he shoots a different bow than you.Â Sorry for the tangent…..
Trophy vs. Meat Hunting
I was going to start picking apart this argument but I decided My opinion may just fuel the matter so Im am going to share my philosophy of what kind of hunter I am..
I for oneÂ Â Am neither a trophy hunter or a meat hunter and I am both a trophy hunter and aÂ meat hunter….. Hmmmmm, how? you ask… I am interested more in the experiences than the meat,… And even thoughÂ my family, friends andÂ I allÂ enjoy the meat.. I do not need it to survive. heck if you add up what it costs me to hunt those are some pretty expensive steaks. I can be eatingÂ Kobe beef for dinner every night.
I take home more than racks as my trophies, each time I take to the woods it fills me..Â Don’t get me wrong I’m not getting up on a soap box here and saying I don’t seek or long after big racks I’d be lying to you if I did… Anyone who visits my house will see that I do collect my fair share of bone…
But I learned a long time ago that if you cannot enjoy all of it.. if its only about the pursuit or if its only about the outcomeÂ your going to be left feeling empty…. Doing what I do can take it’s toll sometimes.. your peers are always watching you , your always worried about what others may think, always trying to please fansÂ and thenÂ there’s the pressure you put on yourself to out preform your last… This is not the heart of the hunter ( at least not in my opinion). And this is not why I started hunting.
There was a short stint in my professional hunting career that I would only chase giants, that hunting lesser bucks was beneath me . I was so caught up in what everyone else was doing andÂ so focused on inches that I lost sight of whyÂ I startedÂ hunting in the first place….. family, friends, nature, connection, inner call….. all that went away and all I had was very high, highs and very low, lows….
So I started hunting for the experience I learned to have fun and soak up everything I’m doing.. Those who know me best know I’m very hard on myself and I still get upset and still beat myself up a bit when I don’t meet my goals, but in the end I’ve learned to take away what I need form hunting and that’s the connection to my inner self….. “John Stallone hunter”Â hunting has become me… its not just something I do, it is who I am.. And I feel connectedÂ , grounded and truly feel like I’m me….
Whoa got a little deep there… but I hopeÂ those of you who continued to read past the opening line caught whatÂ I’m trying to spit here… If you got into hunting just for the kill or just for the trophy your gona have a lot of disappointments in your life im not saying don’t push yourself to be better or take homeÂ giant racks I’m just saying grow to love everything about what you are doing, appreciate the places hunting is taking you, feel the world around you and the next time you eat a tag sandwich it may not sting so bad..
I wrote a narration forÂ a short film I did in 2012 that kinda sums it up have a look it may makeÂ more sense