Fueling The Ways Of Tradition In Hunting T-Shirts

By Simon Bendis

The morning is foggy and quite crisp. You've been out here in the scrub for the last three hours, well before dawn. You live by the mantra that the "early bird gets the worm." Well, today the early hunter is going to get the buck and by the look of the scrapes you've seen, it's going to be a big one. You give a grunt through your deer call, and settle down into the foliage around you with your rifle at the ready. Your breathing stills as you see the big buck move into the clearing, its dark eyes looking for a challenger. You wipe the dampness off your hands onto one of your hunting t-shirts, and line up your shot.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we do what we do. It is considered a sport by many, and murder by many others. It is honored through history, publication, and even on hunting t-shirts. It is what we like to call hunting, and our ability to excel at it is why we are here at the top of the food chain today. We have become the dominate species on this planet because we have the mental capability to catch the most prey and to out-hunt our nearest competitors.

The killing of an animal isn't what the whole process is all about. There are those who would have you believe that every man with a gun and some hunting t-shirts is a sociopath murderer who torture animals for fun. The truth is that when a hunter makes a kill, that they strive to make the cleanest kill possible. Through the chest, through the heart, and through both lungs. The animal is dead before it even has a chance to register that it is in pain. The real meaning behind the hunt is because in many people, there is a need to satisfy that ancient impulse to dominate nature and to hunt for your food. The same people who condemn hunters, usually go home to eat cows or chicken slaughtered in inhumane conditions.

There is sacrifice to the act of hunting that many don't understand either. You cannot simply put on hunting t-shirts, walk into the middle of a field, and shoot the first deer that you see. That simply does not work. Deer are skittish creatures because they are prey animals. They have learned to fear man many centuries ago and will shy away from their scent and their presence. To truly hunt, you have to be up hours before the sun rises and place yourself in concealment before the deer awaken and begin moving about the wood. You have to sit in discomfort, cold, and misery for many hours just for one brief moment of excitement and satisfaction.

There is a point to hunting that is well outside the mere concept of "killing for sport." Hunting satisfies a deer, instinctual need within me to be a provider. This need is so visceral and intense, that just working 40 hours a week and buying groceries does not quell it. I have to hunt and I have to bring back fresh meat to my loved ones. It may seem ridiculous, but it is the only thing that makes me feel like a true provider. All of the guns, hunting t-shirts, deer calls, or camouflage in the world can't make me feel that way. It takes the reality of the hunt to make me feel like a man.

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