I don’t hunt, not in the sense that most people think of hunting. I’ve been deer hunting all of two times, one of which involved actually taking a deer. I suppose you could say that I hunt in the sense of “shooting squirrels on the farm”, but that’s not really hunting. That’s more like target practice.
You see, hunting doesn’t generate tremendous appeal for me. I’ve always viewed myself as a marksman, I’m interested in increasing my skill at shooting – which is not necessarily related to my skill at hunting. Actually, it’s that interest that causes me to occasionally “hunt” squirrels and other small game. The challenge of the shot itself, hitting a small, possibly moving, target at significant range is what I enjoy.
When it comes to hunting, I’m that person that the anti-hunting whackos love to hate, because I’m not hunting for meat. I wouldn’t waste the meat, but taking game has never been the goal. The “goal” is to increase my skills as a marksman by challenging myself in situations I’ve not faced before.
The part of hunting that comes before and after the shot has little interest to me. I’m not interested in sitting in a deer stand for two hours waiting for something to wander into my sights (note: I am interested in actually stalking and pursuing game, but that’s a different post). I am also not interested in field dressing, gutting, skinning, or doing anything like that to an animal. It’s not that I’m squeamish, I’m just not interested. What I’m interested in is the shot. That moment where sight picture, trigger control, and breathing all come together to place the bullet exactly where you want it to go.
I suppose that if I could find someone to field dress, and skin my animals, I’d probably go hunting more often. As it stands right now, there really isn’t a great reason for it, I can find plenty of ways to challenge my skill at arms without putting a bullet through Bambi’s lungs.
I should note however that I still would like to go boar hunting with a spear.