This was my 5th calf moose hunt in as many Novembers – can’t believe it’s been that many as I still feel like a newbie. I’ve been giving some thought to why I started hunting big game and continue to do it, and can condense it into the following:
My quest for my regional food culture. I’ve spent far more time and money than one perhaps should traveling to experience the diverse food regionality of Europe. I yearned for that regional pride and passion at home, confused by a past of wild food interspersed with culturally ubiquitous processed cheese food and microwaved prepared foods. Wild local foods seemed like a sensible place to start to explore true regional food.
Have the gumption. Buying meat at a box store takes as much emotional effort as buying iceberg lettuce. I felt compelled to man-up and be willing to kill the animal I was going to ogle in the kitchen rather than purchase it in the same breath as I did toilet paper. An animal’s life is taken before we eat meat. We know that intellectually, but I’m not sure the masses ‘get it’ at a level that would respect the life of the animal. I never understood vegetarianism more during this journey, believe it or not.
Tradition. Because I was born into a long heritage of hunting [which I did not value as a young adult, btw], I am blessed with family and friend elders to guide and mentor me. A hunt like this becomes a communal annual event that’s exhilarating, hard work, and full of bonding and memories. Anything that adorns that kind of noble description is welcome in my life.