If you are a resident of Northern Michigan your Facebook feed is just a short time away from being filled with “grip and grin” pics of large antlered whitetails. Before you stop reading (if you are a non-hunter), bear with me here…
The rifle opener for the 2017 whitetail deer season is coming up; a massive celebration of small town culture. For some, hunting season is a tradition passed on from one generation to the next. For others, it may be a glimpse into a foreign tradition viewed with shock and horror. Aside from photos of obvious celebration for downing a large buck, it’s important to remember why hunting is a thing, and why harvesting food sources from minimally-adulterated environments leads to healthier sustenance for our bodies.
When we see that smiling pic of someone holding the antlers of a large buck, we only see one still frame of a much bigger story. Some share pics of deer and talk about antlers but the real celebration is something else entirely.
Hunters are grateful for an excuse to get outdoors prior to the season to plant food fields for the deer to eat, secure tree stands and fortify hunting blinds. Hunters enjoy time spent at the range with family and friends to hone marksmanship skills with the intent of bringing an animal down quickly, with no suffering. Time is spent researching and learning the migration patterns of wild animals, how to help control disease and illness in wild populations, and identifying the age of potential targets so young hearty bucks can continue to pass on their strong genes to future generations and not be taken too soon.
For many, the enjoyment comes directly after the harvest as every usable part of the animal is salvaged for use so the animal will not have sacrificed its life in vain. Hunting is harvesting. Harvesting of natural food sources is one of the healthiest ways to fuel our bodies. It is the circle of life.
For me, hunting is an opportunity to be more connected with the food we need to feed our family. Through this connection comes respect for the circle of life and each animal’s place in the food chain. From a culinary aspect we are provided with a number of “organic” ingredients where there is no mystery as to their origins or quality. For my kids it is an opportunity to teach them sustainable living practices, appreciation and respect for the bounty of Mother Nature, and that a kitchen and a little extra work are not to be feared when seeking to provide our bodies with nutrients for continued healthy living.
For all the hunters out there who may be heading out for a hunt, good luck! I hope you find that your training at Performance Locker allows you the improved strength and mobility to walk the woods, bear the weight of harvest, and serves up a quieted mind to fully appreciate the opportunities we have for gathering our own food sources.