Hunting

We are all hunters by nature, even if you don’t own a gun and I don’t own a bow and some arrows. For instance…

“Where did I put my glasses this time?” Another hunt is on. See what I mean? Whenever there is something we want or need, we become happy hunters.

Hunting does not always involve a gun at all. Consider those of us for whom the hunting weapon of choice is called Google. Ponder these actual “Hunts” reported by the ultimate hunt-masters last year at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California:

✓ Why isn’t eleven pronounced “onety-one?”

✓ Why is it that when I’m studying, a velociraptor comes and throws bananas at me?

✓ Why should you never put a sock in a toaster?

These are clearly answers worth searching for… and you don’t even need a hunting license to do it. It is always open season to hunt for things you really need. One of my Google favorites from a love-lost hunter: “What is a girlfriend and where can I download one?”

Research recently published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals humans are actually hard-wired with instincts to hunt, to spot both predators that might eat us and things we might eat. It is molded into our brains from our hunter-gatherer days.

They say we still see threats and we still hunt, even “…with high-rises emerging where forests once took root and pampered pets taking the place of stalking beasts…” Our hunting instinct apparently lives on.

So, what happens to an instinct you suppress it or simply do not use? Ask Dr. Freud, if you want to scare yourself. And popular psychology says repressing your instincts will make your brain explode. Your inner hunter needs out!

In our neighborhood, people do often label themselves as hunters or non-hunters, and some of us seem quite smug in the side we pick. But, “there is more that unites us than separates us,” as John Kennedy is often quoted as saying.

In the most traditional sense of hunting, the Jamestown Gazette this week invites hunters and non-hunters alike to experience the satisfaction and true gratification of “The Hunt” as experienced and expressed by a master hunter, Steve Sorensen.

Responsible hunting, food gathering, the hunter’s role in wildlife stewardship in a world where natural checks and balances have harmed nature far more than helped… and the entirely natural, human instinct to hunt – and even mark its deepest values with trophies – is well worth sharing the experience.

You and I were born into a world that can nurture the instincts we entered it with if we merely look for the opportunities to do so in the most wholesome of ways. There is a wise middle ground between repressed instincts and exploited instincts… it has an old fashioned name I still like… it’s the “grownup” way to do things.

The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once expressed that wise middle position in a most novel way. It even has interesting overtones for today’s politics, “Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.”

So, if you want a more grownup way to say grownup, call it “maturity and wisdom”, words some people say are underused in today’s homes and schools. Steve’s example is one of many worth considering.

Happy hunting and enjoyable reading to all.

Walt Pickut