Horn of the Hunter

Lukem

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I'm reading Ruark, can't help but share:

"The hunter's horn sounds early for some, later for others. Some unfortunates, prisoned by city sidewalks and sentenced to a cement jungle more horrifying than anything to be found in Tanganyika, the horn of the hunter never winds at all. But deep in the guts of most men is buried the involuntary response to the hunter's horn, a prickle of the nape hairs, an acceleration of the pulse, an atavistic memory of his fathers, who killed first with stone, and then with club, and then with spear, and then with bow, and then with gun, and finally with formulae. How meek the man is of no importance; somewhere in the pigeon chest of the clerk is still the vestigial remnant of the hunters heart; somewhere in his nostrils the half-forgotten smell of blood."

Goose bumps.
 

Mckinnon

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Indeed, this is awesome. That would make a cool poster or mural in the "hunting room"
 
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Lukem

Lukem

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Another:

"...if you properly respect what your 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 imortality to a beast you have killed because you loved him and wanted him forever so that you could always recapture the day."

I think these passages put into words (in only the way Ruark can) why we hunt. We hunt because of an internal drive, but that drive isn't just to kill for the sake of killing. Even more revelant today and the perception that non hunters have of us, in that we aren't bloodthirsty hunters greedy for a set of headgear, but that in killing the beast we're after, we "immortalize" that animal, and give it a much better death than what nature has in store, and in it's death it is remembered rather than forgotten and turned to dust. It's something that non hunters don't get. Maybe this should be a required reading in middle school. :)
 

HellsCanyon

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I agree with you Luke! I once told my sister in law who is from California (southern) that by spending my hard earn money on mounting an animal, that I am honoring it in the best way I know how...

Mike
 
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Lukem

Lukem

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Yeah, It's been something my wife, who comes froma non hunting family is slowly learning. Taxidermy initially was somewhat appalling to her, not necessarily in the dead animal on the wall way, but as a sort of idol in the house. I can see the concern, but once I explained that the heads get no worship, and that it's not necessarily the antlers that are the focus, but the sights, smells and memories associated with the animal that are most important, she understood a little bit. Small progress... I do see her point of it becoming an idol, and for some it is. But for me its about the happening of the event and the animal and not just the size (but yes, my big mule deer is way cooler than my little whitetail... :) )
 

Ross

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Lukem, good stuff here! As time goes on it seems I get more and more into the memories and preparation of the hunt. The harvest and what follows are a good portion of the hunt, but there is so much more to it..this is one reason I started actively antler hunting in the spring. It is another hunt, again focused on the harvest of another sort, without the act of harvesting an animal. Thanks for sharing.
 

2rocky

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I'm a big Ruark Fan. I've read Something of Value numerous times. I need to read some of his other work...

Many my favorites is from an author by the name of Edison Marshall from his book Heart of the Hunter.

“At that early age I had not yet isolated the fact, although I had seen it’s signs, that hunting is a lonely sport, that a hunter is essentially a lonely man, more often than a ‘lone’ man; and the bigger the game, the lonelier it gets”

“To judge from the trophies, the only legal evidence, the only record, they had a better trip. Yet there was another counting that only Dean and I knew. By that counting, made up of failure, success, dreams, facts, snow on mountaintops, or beaten in to my face, firelight and dawnlight and starlight, in truth countless imponderables, my trip was one to cherish all my life.”
 
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