Editorial – Nov. 12, 2012


Hunting: Which Critter?

Jamestown Gazette Editor Walt Pickut

The word “Critter” is a simple, old fashioned corruption of the word “Creature.”

We search for creatures, we find them and we take them. Hunting critters is as old as mankind, and at this time of year we still practice it. For some people it is a necessity, for some it is a sport and for some it seems merely brutal.

We are all hunters, though. If it isn’t a deer or a bear or a rabbit, it is something else dear to us, something we need…something we’d be much poorer without. And we stalk it relentlessly; the hunting season is all year long. For some of us it is a critter called happiness or love, for others it is knowledge and for some of us it is power. Which one is your critter? How’s your hunt going?

Josh Billings, 19th Century humorist and U.S. Congressman (possibly the same thing?) considered the hunt and said, “If you ever find happiness by hunting for it, you will find it, as the old woman did her lost spectacles, safe on her own nose all the time.”

This week The Jamestown Gazette invites you along for this year’s deer and bear hunting seasons to look at the role hunting plays for many of us as a vigorous, outdoor sport played out in Mother Nature’s beautiful back yard… or simply as a sensible way to feed a family. Good hunting requires good rules for everyone’s safety, and to be sure everyone bags their fair share…no more, no less.

If hunting for knowledge, however, is your favored critter, consider bagging Everything, the entire Universe. Turn to page XX and fix your sights on the stars at the Martz Observatory, or even with your own brand new telescope. With eyes as wide as a telescope’s sights you can see nearly to infinity and eternity. That’s a critter worth bagging.

Marcel Proust, said, “The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” This is true for all the other values you may choose to hunt for too. Beauty, love, kindness and more might be found best by how you look for them, not by how hard you try.

And one more lesson from this year’s hunting season is offered by science writer, Jean Rostand, who celebrates the hunt, no matter the critter you chase, as a lifelong tonic: “A man is not old as long as he is seeking something.”

Hunt well. Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut
The Jamestown Gazette

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Walt Pickut
Walt Pickut’s writing career began with publishing medical research in1971 while working at the Jersey City Medical Center and the NYU Hospital and School of Medicine. Walt holds board registries in respiratory care and sleep technology as well as bachelor's degrees in biology and communication, and a master's degrees in physiology from Fairleigh-Dickinson University in New Jersey, with additional graduate work in mass communication completed at SUNY Amherst. He currently teaches Presentational Speaking in the Houghton College PACE program at JCC and holds memberships in the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Business Publication Editors. He lives in Jamestown with his wife Nancy, an MSW social worker, and has three children: Dr. Cait Lamberton in Pittsburgh, Bill Pickut, a marketing executive in Chicago, and Rev. Matt Pickut in Plymouth, IN.