Hunting For The Reactionary

As reactionaries, we stand against the passions of the moment and look towards deeper and older traditions.

One tradition, older than even humanity, is the pursuit to the death of other animals, that is to say, hunting. Hunting has utilitarian roots, i.e. the use of meat for food, skin for clothing, and antlers and bones for tools, but hunting has also had ritualistic and spiritual components. When civilization became agrarian, hunting became associated with a martial aristocracy.

In Cynegeticus, written by Xenophon the Greek historian, Xenophon describes the techniques used by ancient Greeks when hunting with dogs. He also opines that hunting “makes men sober and upright … because they are trained in the school of truth.” More than just a pastime, hunting was a tool for men to bond and practice their skill at arms. Given the scarcity of game, every civilized society has regulated the taking of the best game. In practice, this has meant that some species like red deer were the providence of the aristocracy.

For several hundred years, America, having swept away titles of nobility, democratized hunting, making it a pastime shared by almost all rural men, first as a source of food, then a source of pleasure. Optimates, Vaisya, and even the odd Dalit routinely enjoyed hunting. Today, however, the rise of the Brahmin, suppression of the Optimate, and urbanization of the Dalit, has left hunting a pursuit enjoyed by a relatively thin slice of America. Today, as a percentage of the citizenry, hunters appear to be a dying breed. Although most men have the desire to hunt in their blood, urbanization and feminization have quashed this healthy desire; nowadays, hunters represent only 6% of the U.S. population. This essay will highlight some of the practical, meta-political, and spiritual reasons why a reactionary should grab a rifle, go into the deepest woods, and take his first deer.


Beginning with the most practical, hunting has always been considered practice for war. Paleolithic warbands took down the auroch armed only with flint-axes. Medieval nobles engaged in highly formalized par force hunts, in which bands of men on horseback pursued Hart. Today, if one wishes to practice hand-to-hand combat, one can join a mixed martial arts gym and sign up for an amateur fight. Similarly, one who wishes to practice riflecraft can take up various competitive disciplines, but they are missing the aliveness of an actual fight. Chuck Taylor, Vietnam veteran and prominent firearms instructor, when asked what a civilian could to to practice martial skills, short of getting into an actual gunfight, responded: “Learn to hunt whitetail deer. They are incredibly wary creatures with a powerful sense of smell. If you can stalk and kill a whitetail, you can stalk and kill a man.” He knew this from personal experience, having grown up hunting four-legged ungulates in American woods long before he hunted two-legged predators in Vietnamese jungles.

The possession of a good rifle, as well as the skill to use it well, truly makes a man the monarch of all he surveys, it realizes the ancient dream of the Jovian thunderbolt, and as such it is the embodiment of personal power. —Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle

Archilochus once explained exactly why the same man who can cleanly pierce a bullseye at hundreds of yards cleanly misses a trophy buck less than fifty yards away: “We don’t rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training.” The first time you hear the rustle of branches, the snapping of twigs, the crunching of leaves, and a 10-point buck begins walking towards you less than 25 yards away, your blood stirs, your heart pounds, and your face begins to flush. Physiologically, this fight or flight reflex makes you much harder to kill, yet paradoxically, it makes it much harder to exercise the fine motor skills necessary to make your aim true. The solution to this is more exposure to game. Gradually, your body adapts to this stress, so that eventually, when you fall to the level of your training, your shots are clean and fatal.


Beyond the mechanical aspects of drawing a bow, aiming a rifle, or swinging a shotgun, the far more difficult skill to learn is fieldcraft. Hikers can walk a hundred miles in the wilderness and never spot a deer, their noises and scent having spooked every deer for hundreds of yards. Yet to be successful when bowhunting, the hunter must allow the deer to walk within a couple of dozen yards. How is this possible?

First, the hunter must learn to think like prey. The prey moves upwind very cautiously, sometimes taking circuitous routes to avoid being surprised. The hunter must practice nearly perfect scent and sound discipline, taking great pain not to be detected. The hunter must hone his eyesight in order to notice footprints, flattened brush, scat, and other signs. These skills are highly martial as the first side to be noticed is often the first side to be ambushed. Historically, German nobility noticed the unique skills of hunters and raised the light infantry units now called Jäger, soldiers who were skilled at reconnaissance and irregular tactics. Similar principles were carried over into other elite fighting units like the Rangers and Stoßtruppen. Moving beyond the purely practical, different styles of hunting offer the hunter very different lessons.

Of all the ways to segment hunting, one of the most pertinent for our concerns is solo hunting versus group hunting. Hunting alone requires patience and asceticism. Waking up at 0300 to put on your camouflage and climb into a tree gives one ample time to think and meditate until sunrise. Sometimes, one can pass the time by reading, but other times, one must sit nearly motionless, scanning the treeline looking for signs of movement for hours. Hunting alone also subjects the hunter to greater risks as there is no one to carry him out if he breaks his leg ten miles from the nearest sign of civilization. Moreover, due to the fundamentally capricious nature of the quarry, one needs to be prepared to hunt for days and still see nothing. Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset spelled it out well in Meditations on Hunting, “The hunter does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, he kills in order to have hunted.”

The kill is only the conclusion of a hunt, but the hunt itself is the goal.

Hunting in a group is far more common, as a group allows more ground to be covered, greater division of labor, and most importantly from our perspective, the solidification of Männerbund. Far more than socializing, hiking, or camping, hunting is a quintessential activity for Männerbund because it taps into the male competitive spirit: the quest for the biggest elk, the most cunning wolf, or the most ornery cape buffalo.

More than just the competitive drive, hunting in groups is hierarchical. Different men have different roles depending on the type of hunt and setting. In a ‘driven’ hunt, dozens of men encircle an area expected to contain game and then “beaters” loudly walk to drive the game towards the “standers.” Since standers are the ones who will do the shooting, they occupy the top of the ad hoc hierarchy. Similarly on an African safari, the client sits at the top of an enormous hierarchy consisting of as many as fifty men, including the professional hunter (PH), camp manager, trackers, skinners, gun-bearers, drivers, cooks, etc.

Philosopher of aesthetics Roger Scruton notes that “the hunting field requires uniforms, formality, hierarchy and correct forms of address.”

Even for someone raised in the egalitarian West, this return to hierarchy feels entirely normal and natural, especially when sitting around the braai eating kudu taken during a hard hunt. When grouped with male friends of ‘similar ancestries, attitudes and temperaments,’ the act of hunting itself is one of the intermediate risks that allows an informal hierarchy to form. Each man observes the martial prowess of his peers, the silence of their movements, their attitudes towards the ethics of hunting, their celebration after a successful hunt, and their disposition after a failure. Each of these factors is a test that in concert reinforce who deserves to lead you into battle, who you want watching your back, and who you want cleaning your boots.

Closely associated with Männerbund-formation is the bravery required when hunting. It is not a small thing to take a life, even if the life is that of a squirrel, yet a squirrel poses little risk to the hunter. Other kinds of hunts do, however, place the hunter’s life in great danger. Historically, the ferocity of wild boar was underestimated at the hunter’s peril when using a sword to spear. Today, in North America, a hunter is killed every few years by the odd brown bear or grizzly, but the dangers faced are primarily environmental: freezing after getting lost, drowning in fast-moving streams, falling from tree stands. In Africa, in addition to the environmental dangers, the hunter can easily become the hunted. sc-ruark-w-lion

Robert Ruark summed up the specific attraction of lion hunting very well: “Man…can understand a lion, because a lion is life in its simplest form, beautiful, menacing, dangerous, and attractive to his ego. A lion has always been the symbol of challenge, the prototype of personal hazard. You get the lion, or the lion gets you.”

The last line crystallizes the reason why hunters spend small fortunes to hunt lion, leopard, and cape buffalo. Sure, the hunter is armed with a rifle, but neither the hunter, nor the rifle are perfect. Even a fatally-wounded animal will often have sufficient life-force left to charge and kill the hunter if he fails to stop the charge. One beast, the cape buffalo, bears special mentioning for the level of mettle required to hunt it. 2000 pounds of muscle, horn, and anger, “Black Death” is the only dangerous game that brings hunters to Africa again and again.

Elephant, lion Tiger, rhino, and the great bears can kill you, but none of them display the single-minded, unswerving vindictiveness of the wounded buffalo. —Jeff Cooper, Shotluck

Controversial PH Mark Sullivan writes extensively on the mental fortitude required to stop a charging cape buffalo when it crosses the 30 foot threshold: “…he will not stop. He cannot be turned. He cannot be driven away. One of you must die.” bushwise-sa_13260965_794100067388218_1500063576_nThis notion, echoed by countless hunters, that either it dies or you die, taps into the atavistic passions of every man who reads it.

The final reason why reactionaries should hunt is less practical but arguably the most important: the spiritual component. For hundreds of thousands of years, humans have placed animals and the hunt close to the center of their spiritual lives. Early human rites were centered on communicating with and earning the favor of spirits closely tied to animals. For millennia, men have adopted the costume and mannerisms of species like bear and wolf in the hopes of gaining their ferocity and swiftness. Similarly, they would invoke prey spirits in a way which seemed to suggest that they were asking favor and permission; a hunt’s outcome was seen resting on such non-materialistic factors. The importance of these invocations cannot be overstated, the cave paintings at Lascaux being just one example.


Early human religions extensively overemphasized two factors: the hunt and fertility. Given these roots, where are we, contemporary men? By and large, we are divorced from nature. Our connection with the world is mediated by supply chains of our own creation. Unless your name is Joel Salatin, you probably have no idea where your last steak came from: it simply appeared in your grocer’s freezer as if by magic. At least some of the modern insanity so prevalent today results from man’s disconnection from the provision of security and sustenance.

With or without a weapon, through hunting, I return to my vital sources: the enchanted forest, silence, the mysteries of wild blood, the ancient clannish comradeship. To my mind, hunting is not a sport, it is a necessary ritual in which every participant, predator and prey, plays the role imposed on him by nature. Along with childbirth, death and seed-sowing, I believe that hunting, if practiced according to the rules, is the last primordial rite that has partially escaped the defacement and manipulations of rational, scientific modernity. —Dominique Venner

Hunting thrusts man once again back into the natural cycle of life and death, both materially and spiritually. While hunting, we once again subordinate ourselves to the natural state. We accept limits on our power in order to experience nature as our fathers did, and, for a short period of time, we open a liminal space in which we can be receptive to the experiences which nature may or may not provide us.


Properly conducted, hunting is bound up in rules and rituals. Rituals are human patterns of action bound by rules which have spiritual significance, i.e. their symbolic power is greater than the mere actions being done. In the ancient days, men might fast, dance, or paint themselves before the hunt. Knights might open the hunt with prayer and masses. Even today, Germans have a ceremony following the conclusion of a successful hunt paying respect to each animal taken. Today, descending from the tradition of St. Hubertus, the patron saint of hunters, reinforced by philosophers like José Ortega y Gasset, hunting ethics have become an integral part of hunting in the West.

The hunter who accepts the sporting code of ethics keeps his commandments in the greatest solitude, with no witness or audience other than the sharp peaks of the mountain, the roaming cloud, the stern oak, the trembling juniper, and the passing animal. —José Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Hunting

What Ortega y Gasset hammers home is the notion that any hunter could easily violate hunting ethics without anyone being the wiser, but spiritually, he would be judged. Hunters today debate what we now call “fair chase” principles to determine what is and is not considered a “good hunt.” From the perspective of a meat hunter, meat is meat, ethics be damned. From the perspective of a traditionalist hunter, the best target is an old male, past his prime breeding years. Far from an act of cruelty, killing him swiftly saves him a long and agonizing death by starvation or predation; moreover, by saving his antlers or horns, the hunter does his memory the greatest honor.

Already I was beginning to fall into the African way of thinking: That if you properly respect what you are after, and shoot it cleanly and on the animal’s terrain, if you imprison in your mind all the wonder of the day from sky to smell to breeze to flowers—then you have not merely killed an animal. You have lent immortality to a beast you have killed because you loved him and wanted him forever so that you could always recapture the day. —Robert Ruark, Use Enough Gun

Blood. Today, we face great challenges because men are drained of it. Men are vegetables lacking all passions beyond attainment of “pleasure” and “comfort.”

Since antiquity, the physical act of spilling blood has been a part of the transition from boyhood to manhood. It also marks a pathway to new means of understanding and responsibilities within the tribe. Even today, a father gives his son the warm blood of his first deer. In traditional German hunts, when a hunter takes an animal, the hunting leaseholder smears blood from the animal onto a branch and then onto the hat of the hunter. Europeans have inherited a special relationship with both blood and hunting through both their Christian and pre-Christian heritage*. Indeed, blood forms an important part of Indo-European languages, conveying something essential about what it means to live and how the world works. Most such languages contain expressions akin to “Hot-headed,” “bloodthirsty,” and “bred from good blood.”

When was the last time you heard those expressions used in earnest?

Our deepest motivations, those which often lie subconscious, in our genetic memory, our forefathers said were “in the blood.” Going from our childhood homes, to school, to work, most of us never require actions that are hard and heroic; we undertake nothing requires tapping our inner reservoirs of motivation. That said, what lies dormant in our blood is still there. The way to access it is not easy, but it can be done, in the woods, in the wild, with a bow or rifle. Heed your ancestral memory, listen to your blood’s instinctive wisdom.

Claim your birthright: Hunt.


*Interestingly, while blood has immense importance in both Christianity and Judaism, hunting was commanded in the former, and essentially forbidden in the latter.

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  1. I swear, here I am about to completely lose hope at seeing ANYTHING this season, and out comes this article.

    Fuck it. I’ll take Monday/Tuesday off.

    1. Good Luck Phileas. I will need luck as well. I passed on some bucks earlier this season, my mistake! Going to try to fill my tag during late archery season.

  2. Blowing the crap out of an animal with a gun isn’t manly. Get into a boxing ring and leave the wretched animals alone.

    1. Laguna Beach Fogey December 6, 2016 at 9:44 am

      Don’t be a pussy. Hunting and boxing are both manly pursuits.

      1. Hunting with a gun can’t be manly by definition since a woman can kill an animal the same way.

        1. Laguna Beach Fogey December 6, 2016 at 10:01 am

          Hunting by definition is a manly pursuit. A woman who hunts (and fishes) is acting in contradiction to her nature.

          1. I didn’t touch on this during the essay, but one follow up piece could be the rise of women who hunt. Although the number of american hunters has been falling over the last 25 years, the number of female hunters has been exploding, which according to the NSSF and NRA, is a sign that they are doing a good job of marketing hunting to ‘new hunters.’ I think anyone red-pilled would have a different explanation. My theory is that with the rise of one or two child families, when a hunter has all girls, well gosh darnit, the girls learn to hunt. I think historically, an all-girl family was significantly more rare. Boys have a natural affinity for hunting, while girls can learn to enjoy hunting, primarily as a way to bond with their fathers. However, as Laguna Beach Fogey said, it’s not quite as ‘natural.’

            Also, there is the whole ‘Weimerican’ angle where a female hunter can post a pic to Instagram and immediately get thousands of likes from thirsty male hunters. That notion obviously didn’t exist 25 years ago.

            And IA to your point about “leave the wretched animals alone.” No. We hunt fairly and ethically. The animal uses his faculties, senses, intuition to evade us, and we use our bodies, brains, and weapons to hunt it. That IS hunting. If you gave a bronze age man a rifle, he would have immediately used it to hunt.

          2. LBF- I have appreciated your posts and comments on many a blog, but must disagree with your comment here. Females in many species are hunters- including our own, and there is nothing in the best of them which is betraying their “nature”. I am personally acquainted with many.

    2. When they keep off my property, out of my gardens, and off my pecan trees, I’ll stop shooting them. Eat my crops without my permission, and I eat you. This land is /my/ territory.

      1. This essay was more focused on ‘aristocratic’ kinds of hunting, but pest removal is a valid reason to hunt as well. My dad and I used to snipe the rabbits trying to eat his tomato garden from the 2nd story bathroom window when I was a kid using a 20 cal. air rifle.

        These days, you should buy a suppressed 22 lr.

        1. That was meant as more of a crack at the “poor animals” sentiment than a response to the article. In hindsight, however, it does have an air of manoralism to it: anything on my land is mine to devour or cultivate as I see fit.

        2. I must respectfully disagree that varmint/predator control is “hunting”. Sniping rabbits or hawks is not hunting, even though it is absolutely necessary to live a farmer/ranchers life in the country. And good luck hunting a fox.

          1. So in the Deep South, where deer have become a nuisance pest for agriculture, is it varmint control or hunting to go after the them? Is is a matter of choice of prey or the attitude of the hunter?

    3. I take it you have never hunted before?

      1. Sure, bought my first firearm when I was 17.

  3. Laguna Beach Fogey December 6, 2016 at 9:54 am

    Awesome essay. Hunting is one of the most masculine pastimes a man can indulge in, and, for some, it almost becomes a obsession. One of the few drawbacks of living in coastal Southern California is the relative scarcity of suitable hunting grounds for, say, deer and game birds. Far more common is underwater hunting, i.e., spearfishing, stalking and killing fish. It’s also a little more dangerous than regular hunting.

    1. When I lived in California, part of the reason I never took up hunting was ease of access to hunting grounds. That said, California has a lot of wild pig hunting and the central valley is fantastic for varmint hunting. Also, you’re a 2 hour flight to some of the best high desert pronghorn hunting in the country. Not cheap, but truly spectacular.

  4. Laguna Beach Fogey December 6, 2016 at 10:17 am

    It might be useful to go into more detail on hunting with hounds (fox hunting, beagling, otter hunting, etc.) versus shooting (game birds) and deer stalking.

    1. Hunting on horseback and hunting with hounds are very reactionary. That said, they fall outside my area of expertise. I would encourage interest parties to read either Roger Scruton’s On Hunting:

      or Xenophon’s Cynegeticus aka “Hunting with Dogs”:

    2. SecretForumLurker December 6, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Agree. I have friends who hunt birds with their dog. How is this different and what skill sets are involved that are different?

      1. I am going to touch on this in a later essay, but to me there is something about hunting big game that puts it in an entirely separate ball game from hunting upland game. Yes, both are hunting, but big game hunting is full of agony and ecstasy that you just don’t get in upland hunting. That’s not to say that upland hunting has no place, in fact, few things are more enjoyable than grabbing three or four friends and a dog and going to hunt pheasant. Afterwards, you can sit back and smoke cigars and drink scotch. It’s a very Cavalier method of entertaining oneself.

        Here’s what Ernest Hemingway had to say on the matter:
        “When you have shot one bird flying you have shot all birds flying. They are all different and they fly in different ways but the sensation is the same and the last one is as good as the first.”

  5. I think this is an interesting essay. I have killed animals for sport but feel bad about it now. Obviously, others here don’t. It’s not a fight between equals. Not even close. Basically, hunting terrorizes the animal. They cannot understand a gun, similar to not comprehending the speed of a car.

    Pagans sacrificed animals as an appeal for a god to pity them. To them the universe was a living being and they were a microcosm of the macrocosm. Nothing even remotely like that occurs in modern men. Animals are an extension of our alienation from a living universe and hence have lost their association with innocence.

    I’ve also lived in a part of the world where animals are routinely tortured and their body parts used for herbal teas. Once you’ve seen the things I’ve seen you don’t forget.

    1. Your feelings on the matter seem to stem from projection; you believe the animal thinks and feels the way we (you) do, and that it understands pain and suffering as vividly as us. Is it unfair that we have evolved to become apex predators? That we can create efficient weapons and tools? Fairness is not a quality of this universe, nor is it a concern at any stage of evolution’s march.

      Trust me, a lion doesn’t feel bad at a later date the way you do – if anything makes us different, it is that. And hunting done properly honors that differential. We respect the hunt, and we respect the kill. It is not torture. There is no trauma except what we let into our own minds.

      1. I’ve been around animals enough not to project my feelings, belive me. And I certainly don’t think life is fair. Life is cruel. But animals could have some relation to our perception of innocence.

        Actaeon, in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, slaughters a bunch of animals. Ovid seems to emphasize this as something a bit “out there” by having Actaeon say, “our nets and spears are soaked with wild beasts’ blood” in Mandelbaum’s translation. Soaked could mean excess. Charles Martin has him say “our nets and spears are steeped in beastly blood.”

        Actaeon tells his men the hunt is over and somehow is separated from them. He accidently comes upon Diana (Artemis in Greek) bathing and sees her naked. She is a virgin goddess so this is very bad. She turns him into a stag and he’s ripped apart by his own hounds.

        So, this is a tale about defilement of innocence.

        Now, I’m not saying people who hunt for sport have a moral problem. I’m saying it may upset something concerning a quality we call innocence and the ancients would call the goddess Artemis or Diana.

        You can take that anyway you want but that’s how I’ve come to look at killing animals, and in fact, the nature of animals in general. They have a kind of innocence we have lost. Of course a lion won’t feel bad. How could he? He’s not human. But we are, unfortunately.

    2. Wolves also terrorize animals. Terror is part of nature. If we’re advanced enough to remove predator populations so it suits our ranchers, we should take responsibility for providing that predation pressure and culling the deer herds. Look up the kinds of afflictions deer must endure when they become over-populated. Hunting is a mercy. Old animals die of starvation or are overcome by parasites.

      I agree that for many men, hunting can be an experience which provides no more connection than a football game. I suspect that these are the minority, though. The reactionary hunts more for spiritual reasons than for sport.

      1. This +1.

        Look at the final hours of an old cape buffalo bull. He does not pass away gracefully. Hyenas nip at him until he is tired, and then they literally disembowel him beginning by biting open his rectum until he is so weak that he can be finished by a chewing on his windpipe. He can experience that OR a well placed 350 gr bullet piercing his lungs and heart causing shock and then death.

        I know how I’d rather die.

        “The true trophy hunter is a self-disciplined perfectionist seeking a single animal, the ancient patriarch well past his prime that is often an outcast from his own kind… If successful, he will enshrine the trophy in a place of honor. This is a more noble and fitting end than dying on some lost and lonely ledge where the scavengers will pick his bones, and his magnificent horns will weather away and be lost forever.”

      2. You’d go nuts in India. Cows lounging around in the middle of urban highways and downtown. Goats, dogs, cats, camels and even elephants all over the place. The Indians seem to manage okay. Granted, it’s a mess but they’re happier then we are and have very little.

      3. I second this notion.

        I always hunt with my Rosary in hand. The Hunt is essentially a Wait. One must do what they can to succeed, but at the end of it all you must surrender the ultimate outcome, the possibility of victory to Divine Providence.

        It is quite a powerful meditation in conjunction with the Rosary.

    3. “It’s not a fight between equals.”
      And why should it be?

      If we had no weapons, most hunting would be unequal in the quarry’s favour. We have made ourselves stronger. All is fair.

      1. Sure. But there’s no risk. No risk requires no physical courage. Can’t have manliness without courage. Sorry guys.

  6. Hunting – yeah, OK, so long as you don’t wipe out any endangered species as our ancestors did. Pugilism? Why not, except you’ll probably be a vegetable in later life. For me, sailing is the ideal – the arrival in port is like the huntsman’s clean shot – merely a culmination of a process, and not the end in itself. Leaving the harbor, cutting out the auxiliary engine, and seeing the land recede where the Law of Man prevails, you enter a new universe where the only law is the Law of Nature.
    Fear of Nature’s laws will get you killed, but if you face them with courage and respect you survive. If there is a crew you quickly become aware of individual strengths and weaknesses, and hierarchy is essential. To be sure, modern boats are more comfortable than our ancestors’ dugouts, but they are more robust and can take more punishment than any human frame, leaving you with just your skills, or their lack, to help you on your voyage.

  7. Historically, some species were hunted to extinction, the bigger danger to game species today is actually having their hunting outlawed. This is counter-intuitive but in North America, it’s indisputable. Hunters are the largest source of money for conservation in the United States, through their contributions both voluntary (to organizations like Ducks Unlimited) and involuntary (Federal excise taxes on guns and ammo fund conservation). Since the late 19th century proper game management has brought back many species including the Columbia whitetail, gray wolf, Aleutian goose, wood duck, and Manitoban elk from the brink. Now their harvesting is controlled by lotteries, tags, and/or quotas.

    Africa is a different case, but the primary problem there is poaching, i.e. illegal theft of animals. As much as he annoys me, Adam Conover made a short video on trophy hunting that demonstrates how it helps animals:

  8. I highly enjoyed this piece, as the writing is above average.

    I was never raised with hunting, as my father wasn’t never into it. This was probably due to his father also not being into it etc.

    It is something I’ve always wanted to do however, for at least the last 3 years I’ve intended to get my license and always end up missing the deadline to register, I’ll have to make sure to go out of my way to acquire it this year.

    I think the above point about the Buffalo is excellent. I remember when the whole moral panic about cecil the lion was going on. I pointed out to several of my earnest liberal friends just what a Lions life entails. A Lion’s life is filled with brutality from beginning to end, if a male lion is lucky enough to live to old age his life will likely end in either one of two ways. 1) he will be viciously mauled to death by younger males seeking to take over his territory 2) he will be driven from his pride by the aforementioned males, after which point he will eventually die of starvation as old age weakens him, either way it’s not a pretty picture.

    Earnest young liberals seems to have this amusing belief that most animals die peacefully in their beds from old age while surrounded by their grandchildren.

  9. my 21 yo son got a black bear this year. My 19 yo got a nice Michigan whitetail doe . the meat is great , and I especially like the bear. it’s from Ontario where blueberries makeup a large part of their diet.
    But that pales in comparison to the great experiences we all had together.
    my wife’s dad and brother are still active and hunt with us .

    I hunted with my dad as well, and miss him more every season.

  10. Laguna Beach Fogey December 6, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    If you dislike vermin such as squirrels and rats, there are some awesome ratting videos on YouTube featuring air rifles and terriers.

  11. I used to watch bullfights but I’m afraid I’m done with that too. Probably to do with age. And, yes, I’ve read Death in the Afternoon.

    About animals being eaten. They don’t feel pain because they’re pumped full of adrenaline. It’s called hot blood and is nature’s way.

    The worst thing I’ve seen is a goose unable to fly anymore because of the seething maggots on his back and most likely well into his internal organs. We put him out of his misery with a shot to the head unlike the (probably) drunken incompetent slob who only got a couple of pellets in.

  12. Laguna Beach Fogey December 6, 2016 at 4:44 pm

    If you’re squeamish about eradicating deer, game birds, and squirrels, how are you going to fight in the coming civil wars?

    1. That’s a good question.

      I know that ISIS and other muslim groups routinely kill animals in order to get them used to killing humans. I don’t follow that logic but that’s what I’ve heard.

      Me, I’ve been in several fights especially in my 30s and a few spectacular motocycle accidents. No big deal. I started lifting weights first probably because I lived in a dangerous area and liked the thought of being able to kick the snot out of say 95% of the people in a club or bar. One time a big dude tried to rob me and I remember at one point gouging his eyes with my thumbs while pinning him to the hood of a car. LOL. He threw me off and since I thought he’d taken my wallet I chased him a few blocks then realized I still had it.

      Anyway, I wasn’t at first particularly tough. mentally especially but I learned. Never lost a fight but was once robbed at gunpoint. I took my billfold out and threw a bill on the ground. That distracted him so I took the girl with me by the arm and walked away, fast. A good tip – don’t give a robber the billfold, just throw the money on the ground and get away.

      Guys here want to fight animals move to a gentrifying area. Plenty there, the human kind.

  13. Thorgeir Lawspeaker December 6, 2016 at 4:51 pm

    How should the urbanite — the man who has never hunted, who has no relatives or friends who hunt, who dwells among a sea of non-hunters — get started? Some skills, like shooting a rifle, he might practice on his own, and most states require a hunter-safety course before a hunting license, but these do not seem to be the essence of the matter.

    1. Stay tuned to this station… the next essay hits on precisely this question.

  14. Ockhams Chainsaw December 6, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Great article. It communicates well both the deep history and nature of hunting. I think that it is very likely THE MOST spiritual experience one can have outside the church walls.

    I didn’t grow up hunting but have spent the last few years learning so that I could in turn teach my sons.
    My oldest has been on several hunts with me now and can think of nothing else in the fall. At just 10 y/o
    his marksmanship skills are far beyond what I could have hoped for.

    More importantly though, I have seen it mold his character in profound ways. He has learned how to endure frigid temps, high altitudes, long waits and vigilance. He knows the taste of fresh heart and the satisfaction of patience and endurance and the sleep that only comes after total exhaustion.

    My six y/o will come on his first hunt this year, so I get to relive that with him again.

    Again thank you, you’ve refreshed my mind…and encouraged me to get back into the field a bit more often.

  15. This was an excellent comment right up to where you said it is unfortunate that we are human. This is not a pleasant thing to carry in your soul, is it?

    1. Coyote, not sure you mean me but if so, I’d rather be a human than an animal. Johnson or somebody said, Men turn themselves into animals in order to avoid the pain of being human. or something like that about sums it up for me.

  16. Reactionary’s are more often the hunted than the hunters these days. Last week Mike Enoch, Sven, and other members of the gang at The Right Stuff were exposed by antifa. While TRS is more white nationalist than it is neo-reactionary, the website did take a stance against democracy and media. Killing stuff in the woods is fine, but the most dangerous game is still hunting or being hunted by humans.

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