Friday, April 18, 2008

FINDING THE GOOD


I recently read a story of an african hunter sent to me by a fellow outdoorswoman and survivalist... she has far surpassed my abilities in the world of survival and I am honored to share a quote from the hunter whose story she sent me.. the words of Nqate ...


"When you track an animal - you must become the animal.Tracking is like dancing, because your body is happy - you can feel it in the dance and then you know that the hunting will be good.When you are doing these things you are talking with God."(!Nqate Xqamxebe 1998)... A/ho to my fellow hunter.. and thanks to Robin for sending me the link.......



The mud flying from the tires would have been fun were it not for the fact that I was stuck clear up to the axles twenty miles from anything resembling civilization. This day has turned out to be a real disappointment, first I got a flat tire, then my truck slid into the ditch while trying to four wheel up an old mud slicked logging road. Daybreak brought with it a pounding rain combined with a cold west wind, my clothes are soaked from changing the flat tire in a pounding rain storm that would have drowned a duck.
Two hours later my spirits are low as I struggle through the wet landscape towards a high ridge to the north. Mule deer frequent this drainage this time of year, offering ample opportunity to harvest one of the long eared warriors. Through the pounding rain I see a large buck bedded next to a rock outcrop partially shielding him from the torrent of water falling from the heavens. On silent yet soggy feet I close the distance to ten yards and ready for the shot. The string slips from my fingers and the arrow leaves the bow in a graceful arc, with a resounding thump the cedar shaft impacts with the rocks inches above the deer, and shatter into a dozen pieces. The buck ghosts away into the storm leaving me standing wet and I must say a pitiful figure on the mountainside. I lay my hands on the earth and feel the warmth leaving the ground where the buck had been bedded all day, I turn to leave the ridge with a heave heart and forlorn disposition.
The rest of the afternoon is spent digging out the pickup and driving home through the now snow covered mountains, the storm has gotten worse changing to snow and beginning to freeze. Near the bottom of the mountain I am suddenly staring into the frightened eyes of a mule deer, the truck slides on the slick road as I hit the brakes. The impact sends the deer flying and jolts the pickup to the core, causing the Don Williams CD to skip in the player and my heart to nearly stop.
Outside the wind has grown to a howl and the headlights illuminate the deer laying in the road, the life slowly draining from her once graceful body. I feel her spirit slipping away and offer a prayer for her journey. After dragging her body into the woods and laying her among the pines and sweet smelling earth I once again begin the long drive back down this lonely stretch of back road. The storm has worsened but my spirits are better, my day seems to have been filled with hardships and disaster, but I realize that my bad day is nothing compared to that of the old matriarch now laying dead upon the frozen ground behind me. Her death was not one of honor or dignity and she will not be remembered by anyone but the one who took her life. I recall days spent upon this mountain and the spiritual connection I felt as the eagle called from the sky or a bull elk bugled somewhere in the pines. Somehow we forget to connect to nature when things go wrong and nature throws us a curve. During times like that is when we should recall our true place and all we have been given, instead of concentrating on the negative energy surrounding the moment. It is hard to do believe me, I often rant and rave at bad situations instead of embracing the good . Hawk a/ho

6 comments:

fishing guy said...

Hawk: You may have surpassed your beauty in the story. All things considered a bad day for you, ended up a great story for me. Thanks for sharing not only the majestic times but also the hunts that don't reach perfection.

Stacey Huston said...

Beautiful story Mike. I find honor in the fact that you are willing to show people that life is not all happiness and poetry when it comes to nature. Thanks for sharing!
Love Stacey

huntertrapper said...

many a cold rainy day spend in the woods. especially when carrying a flintlock in the rain. flinters dont like rain. but i was wondering why you didnt take the road kill? illegal?

Mike "Hawk" Huston said...

Hunter trapper...usually animals killed by cars are so bloodshot that the meat is no good for eating... and an animal killed by a car has no honor in the taking of it's life.. therefore i personally won't partake of the animals bounty, and usually just bury the carcass... Hawk a/ho

Rainforest Robin said...

I am in tears from experiencing your day. They are good tears. I am so moved I cannot even speak. The honesty (like Stacey said) is precious. The rawness...so real. There is nothing I could possibly add. Your sharings go deep and are little found in the world.

huntertrapper said...

there surely isnt honor in the death by car.