The author readies a full plate of all-organic, free range, humanly harvested, sustainable, all natural, wild brook trout for a low impact, high protein meal that will be mixed with venison loins, for a true surf and turf dinner.
There is no denying the fact that human beings are genetically hardwired to hunt. We are instilled with this need by nature, and it is in our composition to be predators.
Our evolutionary tract spans tens of thousands of years, and over this course of time, human beings have evolved to become the planet’s apex predator. Our instinct to hunt exceeds heritage and culture, geography and economy.
With the annual Big Game Hunting Season scheduled to get under way this weekend, with the opening of the muzzleloading season, it may be a good time to look into the future of the sport.
The desire to hunt is in our essence. We are the apex predator on earth. Homosapiens have subsisted by adapting to a life as hunter gatherers for over 95 percent of the time they have been on this planet.
Until our forebears learned how to cultivate crops, domesticate animals and develop agriculture as a means of subsistence about 12,000 years ago, all humans lived this way.
For humans, hunting is a very natural means of existence. As a species, we are motivated by a drive that is difficult to explain and yet impossible to ignore.
In modern times, the majority of humans deny the urge to stalk and hunt, and yet at the same time, many other chose to nurture it.
Although a major portion of modern society has come to rely on agricultural products and farmed food for the majority of their dietary needs, there are still many others who exist partly on a subsistence diet of fish, fowl and game.
Despite the modern achievements and advancements in the food chain, humans remain true hunters.
Studies reveal the propensity of young boys to utilize a stick as a hunting tool, even in societies that no longer have any obvious connections to such hunting traditions.
Children, who have no models to reveal the behavior, will often use a stick as a spear.
In more developed societies, children will often utilize a stick as a rifle or a bow. There is an ongoing debate over whether this behavior is an instinctive trait or whether it has been learned and modeled.
Although the majority of modern societies have long since abandoned hunting as a means of subsistence, there is no denying the fact that hunting has made us what we are today.
Although many people now believe hunting is an ancient and archaic activity that serves no purpose in modern times, there are many others that continue to recognize hunting as an activity that keeps us in contact with the natural world in a most natural way.
Rather than being complacent observers of nature, hunting allows participants to become part of the process as authentic participants in the wild cycle of the natural world. Hunting permits humans to experience a complete immersion into the natural world. It is an activity that serves to heighten our senses and satisfy an undeniable and indescribable primeval need in our soul.
In the process, we learn to become more intimate with and connected to our natural surroundings. We develop a greater appreciation for the environment, and we strive to protect it.
The process of hunting often requires patience and long hours of waiting in the cold, morning stillness. We learn patience, persistence and resolve.
It also requires an uncanny ability to outwit and deceive a wild creature in its natural environment.
Most of all, hunters must learn how to outwit their prey. Often this is achieved only as a result of careful stalking or the ability to mimic a unique call in order to deceive and attract the prey into range.
Our innate gift of communicating with wild creatures has never been truly lost, it has simply atrophied from disuse. And though most humans have long since forgotten how to communicate with other species, there remain certain specialists such as birders, hunters and animal trainers who have managed to maintain and hone this natural ability.
Calling is a unique skill that is still utilized by hunters to attract a variety of wild prey into range including such species as coyotes, ducks, geese, turkeys, moose and even whitetail deer.
Different birds and animals are attracted to different sounds, and it takes a good ear and a lot of experience to understand which call will attract which prey species, at a particular time of year.
Aldo Leopold, who is often recognized as the father of wildlife management, claimed he liked to “arrive too early in the marsh” just for “an adventure in pure listening.” Leopold explained that hunting “is not merely an acquired taste; the instinct that finds delight in the sight and pursuit of game is bred into the very fiber of this race . . . the love of hunting is almost a physiological characteristic.”
Steve Rendell, a guide, hunter and locavor is the author of “The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine.” He has redefined what most hunters and anglers have long considered to be ‘game meat’ in the traditional vernacular. Renella put a more modern spin on traditionally harvested fish, fowl and game in keeping with the times, when he claimed: “It might be better to re-label it as free-range, grass-fed, organic, locally produced, locally harvested, sustainable, native, low-stress, low-impact, humanely slaughtered meat.”
Renella is a self described locavore, and while his description of trout and venison is certainly a mouthful, it is also a much more descriptive rendering of the healthy, all-natural, and all organic qualities of the fish, fowl and game he prefers to harvest, rather than purchase. In addition to the healthful qualities of his all-natural, organic, and sustainable fare, there are also the unmentioned benefits of the healthy outdoor lifestyle that most sportsmen and women continue to pursue which is also, all natural, sustainable and enjoyable.
Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.