April 25 02:40 PM
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Hunting is about hunting -- not killing

Hunting is not about killing, hunting is about hunting. So many non-hunters or animal lovers have the feeling that hunters are possessed with killing every animal they can. When in fact, hunters are the first conservationists and care for the animals more than anyone. The killing of an animal while hunting is the finish of the hunt. All the preparations, all the time in spending in the woods and forests, and all the anticipation is ended in the harvest of the game. Hunting seasons are designed to harvest a small population of animals so the rest can have enough food and be able to support a good and healthy life. To harvest most of the animals would be a disaster to hunting and defeat the purpose of a balanced wildlife population.

All during the year many hunters are in the woods, observing, watching and making the woods a comfortable place for all sorts of wildlife. At my home during my daily life I am feeding the many squirrels, birds and other animals that visit our neighborhood. In the winter, I spend much of my time in getting some food to them to help them survive the Michigan winters we have. To see any die is not what I would like and that goes for the wildlife in the woods I hunt in.

During our hunting season any animal I harvest is fully utilized to feed my family. If a deer is harvested the meat is processed and the hide is tanned to get full use of the life it had. I only harvest what I need and no more. When going to other places to hunt for other game, I respect the animals and only harvest what was expected for that hunt.

In other words, life is a gift for all animals and you need to respect their place in this world. The plan of living by man is to harvest plants and animals for man to exist also. The same way some animals harvest other animals to exist is the scheme of things. Some things die for others to live. This goes for plants also.

So when someone asks me if I am going to kill 'Bambi' I tell them 'Bambi' is a cartoon character and I harvest real animals. I enjoy being a hunter and perpetuate the legacy that man will always be a hunter. All food doesn't come from the grocery store and it is necessary to go to the source and see how real life works.

So many young people do not see how real life evolves and only know where to purchase things to continue their daily life. Sometimes they have to be involved or informed as to the basics of living and where we have come from. Through the years man has provided the fruits of his labor even though our daily life is so advanced and easy. Given the events of weather, disasters, or other life changes, many people have no idea how to provide when such problems come up. If there are no stores, electricity, water or other requirements of living they are at a standstill about what to do.

It is the hunter that has learned to provide and live in the wilderness that has the best chance of surviving such events. Those lessons that he has learned and experienced will always be treasured and remembered. To pass these talents and experiences on is an honor to anyone who is willing to spend the time to teach these treasures to the untrained.

I have experienced so many years of hunting and spending time in the woods and forests of this great country. Many of my stories are humorous, funny but, there is also much to learn from them. I hope that the many things learned will help someone else to enjoy their times and maybe teach them some things that took years to find out.

Throughout my many years in hunting and spending time in the woods I have learned and found out many secrets. It seems that after much time in the woods your senses will increase in ability and you become more aware of your surroundings. You will enjoy the woods more if you spend time in them instead of reading about them. Sitting in forests and woods you appreciate the sunrises and sunsets. It is such a wonderful experience to be a part of the morning wake up of wildlife. It is exciting to hear birds chirping their happiness to the morning sun and starting their efforts to feed themselves throughout the day. You learn the ways of animals and their habits and lives. I was with my grandson in the woods one time and I asked him to tell me what he heard. He stood, looked around and said "I hear nothing." Then I told him to listen again. He then waited for a moment and said "wait, I hear crows." Then he heard squirrels, other birds, trees creaking, and leaves moving. In fact later he commented that "it sure is noisy here." I have listened so many hours and have been able to identify so many sounds. Nothing sounds more awesome than an owl in the distance or turkeys gobbling to your own call. Many times I have thought that the noise behind me was certainly a huge deer only to find it to be a squirrel in his efforts to gather winter food.

Your sense of sight also increases and you are able to spot deer or any other animals far before you are spotted by them. That twitch or movement of color or branch will reveal animals that are difficult to see. It is a pleasure to become as trained as the animals and being a part of the land that they inhabit. You become one with the animal and enter their world as a part of it. Once this is accomplished you are a true hunter and keeper of the woods and forests. It is an extreme pleasure to obtain such a status and many secrets of the wild can be learned from that point. You can watch as the animals go about their daily life unseen. Birds become more interesting when they reveal how they gather food and associate with other animals. Squirrels become comical in their moving around and looking at the other squirrels. Once you listen to their chatter, you are able to create the same sounds and can actually talk or bother them. Watching deer can bring great pleasure when they are unaware of your presence and go about moving, feeding and wandering throughout the woods. Their different actions sometimes are comical but, they are always very alert. To be invisible to them is a marvelous talent only few people accomplish.

There are very few ways that you can describe the feeling of becoming one with the animals and it is such a divine experience. Through the years man has been a part of it and it is becoming more and more difficult to have access to such areas. They are becoming less and less. Also, our daily lives are becoming so involved in material things and forgetting the past traditions. We must slow down and seek such events to make our lives fuller. Listen and look in a woods by yourself and you will become a much better person and enjoy life more.

Robert's new book, "Hunting isn't about killing. Hunting is about Hunting" can be ordered at over 25,000 book stores as well as:,, for more information email the author at

By Robert Cuthbert
June 01, 2011

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