The Hunter-Gatherer Tribe


Somewhere, far back in the deepest recesses of the human mind, there always lurks a hunter-gatherer on the prowl for something.

Even if you are the purest, most sincere vegan, non-meat-eating, “vegetarianist,” you still know how to hunt.

You might be hunting down the right stone-ground, 97-grain, peapod protein bread, or stalking the sexiest Tiffany Italian leather handbag bargain-priced at $1,550, or tracking down a Honma 5-Star golf bag and club set for a mere $59,999.99 (with gold tees!).

Then there’s good old Hide ‘n Seek, the timeless childhood game borne out of our most basic instincts. Hunting is simply in the human blood. It will not be denied expression.

I remember a first-time hunter who once bragged to me about shooting his first turkey. “You should’a seen the people scatter up the frozen food aisle!” he boasted. “Yep! Got me a wild Butterball, I did!”

But hunting is clearly more than recreation. It is as natural and essential to the human spirit as competition, survival, and forming the bonds of kinship.

Jan Dizard, the Charles Hamilton Houston Professor of American Culture at Amherst College in Massachusetts, said it like this:

There are probably as many reasons to hunt as there are hunters, but the core reasons can be reduced to four: to experience nature as a participant; to feel an intimate, sensuous connection to place; to take responsibility for one’s food; and to acknowledge our kinship with wildlife.
This week in Western New York we once again welcome hunting season. This time of the year is probably our most community-forming tradition, ritual, and custom. Jamestown Gazette’s Everyday Hunter, Steve Sorenson, greets us this week on the front page to invite is all out to the hunt with him.

Steve is an award-winning writer on the subject of hunting. He is widely recognized as one of the country’s most inspiring raconteurs, leaders, and mentors on hunting, stalking, and trapping. Enjoy the trek with Steve.

There is one other kind of hunting season, and it has just ended. Joni Blackman is here again this week to bring us her wrap-up on what we’ve bagged.

It was the regular hunt for leaders, called “Election Season.” What did we catch?

In hunting, it is clearly important to know what the best quarry looks and acts like. Otherwise how will we know whom to select and take home?

The qualities of a good leader have been known for thousands of years and they have never changed. The ancient Chinese philosopher and writer, Lao Tzu, once said, “A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.”

A leader is best when he or she provides what the people need – a way of leading called “servant leadership” – so that the people can achieve what they want and need most. This is also the highest model of leadership expressed in all Western, Judeo-Christian traditions.

Hunting good leaders, then, requires more from the hunters than any other kind of hunting, and the only license we need is citizenship. We hope your hunt was a good one. Joni has our first report on what we bagged.

Enjoy the read.

Walt Pickut

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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.