Yesterday, I discussed the appreciation that can come from hunting or raising our Christmas dinner.
Today, I thought I’d expand a bit on my experience with hunting. Before moving to Alaska, I had always been a fisherman but never a hunter.
There’s a lot more paperwork and money involved to own a firearm and hunt in Canada. So, I just never bothered getting into the sport. Upon arrival to Alaska however, I was able to carry a firearm right away without any paperwork. After a few visits to the gravel pit and the shooting range, I was ready to bring home some meat!
Though, due to the expense of big game tags, I stuck to small game hunting.
My oldest son, Jude and I would venture out into the woods behind our house and seek out the illusive snowshoe hare. Puffed with pride and excited to show Nicole our prize, my boy and I would quickly return to the house no longer as mere members of the family; but as providers for the family.
By the way, for those who haven’t eaten rabbit, you’re missing out. I know they’re cute, but they’re also delicious!
I also had the opportunity to go on a black bear hunt with my friend Pat, from our church. Though I couldn’t actually pull the trigger; the experience was truly epic!
It was early spring and the bear were just coming out of hibernation. We hiked up to some mountain lakes to glass the mountain-side a bit, trying to spot a bear worth shooting. Sure enough, we did!
Pat pointed it out and soon I was watching a black spot meander across the mountainside. I hung back while Pat slowly tracked forward to get a clear shot. A couple loud cracks later, and the black spot tumbled down into a patch of alders.
After a long slug of bush-sacking up to the kill site, we were standing over the biggest black bear that he or I had ever seen. The bear was right on 6 feet from nose to tail and weighed around 300 pounds.
Just in case any readers are hunters, Pat used a 7mm Remington Magnum, shooting a 140 grain bullet. We ended up packing out the head, the rug and over 80 pounds of meat, which Pat gladly gave to my family for my help with the hunt. Check out Pat’s Blog Post about our hunt titled Spring Bear, 2009.
To this day, one of the most challenging yet incredible experiences of my life.
As I mentioned yesterday, hunting experiences have brought me a better appreciation for life. I have a far greater understanding that the blood that pumps through my veins and the air that I breath, are gifts from God.
As the Creator and Sustainer of all life, His willingness to let me live and enjoy this life is such a blessing. That I may freely enjoy the Created world around me and take a plant or animal to eat and enjoy, is astounding.
When I take the life of an animal to put food on my table, I realise that God has given me that animal’s life. There is a reverence and humility involved that rarely comes while walking around the grocery store. God’s provision of that animal ‘s life in turn, sustains the life of my family and I.
Are you a hunter? If so, how has the sport of hunting benefited your relationships with friends, family and/or God? Why should someone start hunting?
Photo Credit: P. Teakell, Fuller Lakes, AK