Monday, May 4, 2009

Wild Ethics



Ethics, at times like this one would think that ethics would be the farthest thing from my mind. In truth as the bull closed the distance to within ten yards of my concealed location ethics were all that kept me from loosing feathered death into the elk. The huge bull stopped broadside and began thrashing a ten foot fir tree with his long ivory tipped antlers, completely unaware of my presence. Cows and calves were calling from deep in the timber to one another in a language I understand and know well. Every part of my being prayed for the old warrior of a bull to turn to the left and jump the fence separating us. Four strands of barbed wire is all that stands between me and a chance at a three eighty class bull elk with primitive equipment. I am miles from the nearest human and am hunting private property, no one would likely know if I were to harvest the animal on the adjoining land. But I would know! I always enter the wild places with ethics at the forefront of the adventure, for me to hunt with honor and integrity is the only way to hunt. From a very early age my father taught me the ways of the wild, in the mountains of Montana I learned endurance, woods lore , and patience. I traversed the highest lands and the deepest reaches of the wilderness learning as I went. With each passing season and each hunt I became more and more proficient at the art of stalking, tracking and calling the game I hunted. But the most valuable lesson I learned while in pursuit of a harvest was the honor of making a kill only when everything was ethically and morally right. Never faltering, no matter the trophy size or pressures to succeed in the hunt. I failed miserably at this task as a youthful hunter but always remained vigilant of what I was taught and strived to do better as I grew into adulthood. Today I never enter into the hunt without taking into consideration my place in this great circle of life. Nor my responsibility as a predator to strive for as near perfection as I am able, in order to achieve a desirable outcome once my arrow leaves the bow. The recent string of hunter related shootings and accidents got me to thinking, how many of these tragedies could have been avoided if the sportsmen would have followed strong ethics, honorable hunting practices and basic hunters safety? I can only hope my fellow brothers and sisters of the bow and fellow hunters from all corners of the world will take the time to offer up advise, and criticism where needed to help ensure a safer future for our sport and our heritage in the great outdoors… Hawk

2 comments:

Hunting Gear Guy said...

I couldn't agree more Hawk. I have passed up a lot of game in the bow season when they wouldn't take that one more step so I could make the shot. Ethics is something all hunters should be taught. Glad to see someone like yourself is doing it.

HuntingGearGuy

fishing guy said...

Hawk: Nicely written and it is good that you play by the rules. I like the photo of you and the big Mule Deer a 5x5 I think. Stacey took an excellant photo.