I grew up with hunting. It seems to be in my blood, although I have been disconnected from the Ritual for sometime now. As a child, I remember cruising around in my Grandpa Bob’s Cadillac with my Uncle Les. The smell of coffee, cigarettes and bullshit hunting stories would fill the air as the guns sat next to them in silence urning for their chance to be fired. Their eyes would dart from left to right like an Owl in search of prey. Chain smoking filterless cigarettes, shapeshifting talking sticks sharing stories. Oh, the stories they would tell.
As I got older, hunting became less of a ritual until it was absent from my life all together. When I was 15, I became a self righteous vegetarian and proclaimed the evils of hunting to the world, which my family would laugh at and tell me I would be back. Well, I am 39 and here I am.
I have welcomed the ritual back with open arms and loaded guns. I dream about the hunt and wake up each morning before the sun peeks it’s head from behind the fog lined mountains I call home. I awake and journey out onto this beautiful place to hunt and be reminded of a primordial ceremony. As I sit in the cold damp and wait for the elusive Deer to offer it’s self to me, I am reminded how sacred this ceremony is and has been for my family since time immortal. I offer up Offerings to the Hunt and to the animals for which we are surrounded. The Ceremony has changed, that is inevitable, but the core value of taking care of one’s family will never change.
This season, I will be hunting with guns and soon diving into archery. I have been archiving and collecting stories with different people while hunting as of late and will be posting those with other installments. Stay tuned.