Scattershots | Notes from the North Woods


It’s happened again. I’ve received another annual ‘love letter’ from a virulent member of the anti-hunting community who has taken me to task for promoting a “sickening blood sport.”

I guess she’s right. I’ll admit it, I have stepped over the line, just as Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin did when he took a six point buck on the opening day of Vermont’s annual deer season.

Reportedly, the governor’s buck weighed in at 186 pounds. I wish I could say the same, however my buck remains on the hoof and the season is nearly over.

Humans can’t remove themselves from the natural way of things. By genetic design, we are to be predators, and try though we may, we simply can’t deny it.

Did you ever wonder why little kids will try to throw a rock at a bird. They can’t explain why they do it or try to stop it. It just happens, I believe, because it’s part of our nature.

I suppose I could always take up another sport, like basketball, or football, but it would probably be difficult to gather together enough 55-year-old athletes to play a game.

Funny thing though, I know a lot of 50, 60 and 70-year-old hunters who continue to enjoy their sport. I can even name a few that continue to enjoy the hunt well into their 90’s.

The challenge that hunting provides to humans is one of the finest ways to express our instinctual nature.

There simply aren’t a lot of other active sports that provide such a wonderful opportunity for longevity. Hunting is a great source of exercise. It not only burns calories, it helps to keep you fit.

Depending on the method, the weather and the amount of time spent afield, you can literally burn off thousands of calories in a day’s hunt. I’ll drop 15 to 20 pounds during the average hunting season. Even sitting on watch, you burn calories shivering.

Joe Hackett is a guide and sportsman residing in Ray Brook. Contact him at brookside18@adelphia.net.

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