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#599098 07/04/21 05:04 PM
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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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Just lost a huge thread to this !@#$#%^&!!! system (got to remember to take my own advice about saving regularly). Had an interesting situation develop in this last large family reunion I attended with my wife & son in eastern North Carolina. At least two of the young men in attendance there were seriously dedicated outdoorsmen. Considering where they live (the Virginia/Washington, DC metroplex) that is a very hard thing to achieve and then maintain. I was fascinated with their intensity and interest in fishing this man-made warm-water reservoir the reunion compound was located on. I had facilitated their pursuits somewhat by adding a pontoon boat to the rental for the week and they were using almost every waking minute to pursue the local fauna (in this case fish, and by my estimation, nothing very special). We discussed the usual subjects associated with the activity (tackle, tactics, bait, etc.) and then I raised the question about what type of hunting they pursued. Their answers somewhat floored me. The net, net of that conversation was this....what I've always taken for granted about my hunting activities they have to almost fight for. The planning, the scheming, the sacrifices and economic liabilities that they have to overcome to just hunt a doe whitetail is daunting to the point of unreasonable. Yet... they pursue it with a fervor (almost religious!) that I probably could have never mustered. The world has clearly changed dramatically since I hit the ground here in the late 1950s. Rural areas have shrunken dramatically and hunt-able game populations arguably don't even exist in many (if not most) of the now vast metroplexes on either coast. Yet here these young men are, desperately pursuing these time-honored traditions. Where does that come from? What drives them to go to those lengths to just have a few scant hours of time afield? Now...both of these young men either come from military families or are active military themselves so "the warrior ethic" is very familiar. One is active Marine Corp reserve, the other is an EMT. Both are early in their careers (and family life) and are just scraping by. After much consideration (& feeling very-much like a glutton that needed to do something decently generous), I have invited both to come out west to see what big game hunting is like out here (arguably before it is too-late to do so, for a number of reasons). Neither will be able to afford out-of-state tags (now $600 for a cow elk tag here in Colorado) so they'll be largely acting as Sherpas, but both jumped at the chance like I'd just offered a painfree trip to Valhalla. What says the cognoscenti here on the subject? Where does this visceral drive to hunt come from?

Last edited by Lloyd3; 07/04/21 08:57 PM.
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Don’t know how young but teenage boys and young men have an almost infinite ability to focus when something catches them. Could be a sport, could be learning, could be anything. But when their passion for something is lit, the rest of the world is only their to support them. Lol. It’s fun to watch.

I saw one of my nephews go from never having held a golf club to the US Junior in three years. And he lived in Winnipeg at the time. All courses closed from early October to mid May.


The world cries out for such: he is needed & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia
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Kudos to you sir.

Where the drive to hunt comes from is different from one hunter to the next, but with mentors like you it won’t easily be snuffed out.

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That drive is passed on from the male members of a family to the next generation, starting at teen years-still traces of Robert Ruark's "The Old Man and The Boy" and Corey Ford's Lower 40 are extant today, in this goofy age of transsex crap, high tech computer based gizmos, whatever. Son-in-law and long time hunting pal have been taking my namesake oldest grandson (16) out summer nights for woodchucks- he loves it, and is saving for his first high-power BA rifle-- important thing is, strict gun safety-- so, there is hope. RWTF


When The Man In Black Comes Around- Rev: 6-8
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LGF Offline
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The perspective of an evolutionary biologist (please note that the website substitutes [censored] for the genus name of modern humans and our immediate ancestors):

The evolution of hunting skills and meat eating was the single most important development in human evolution. Access to the large quantities of protein and fat in meat (compared to the largely vegetarian diet of our pre-hunting predecessors) allowed the growth and elaboration of our energy-hungry brain, and that in turn led to increasing ability to communicate, plan, and coordinate complex activities, e.g. hunting and dealings with the other group of [censored] erectus on the far side of the valley.

I am convinced that the first great leap in this process was the development of the ability to throw stones hard and accurately: all of a sudden, we could drive lions, hyenas, and leopards off their kills without getting up close and personal, where a glorified monkey stands no chance. This led to a stage of our evolution where we got most of our meat largely through scavenging from real predators, but stone-throwing also made small game vulnerable, and eventually led to the development of spears to kill larger game.

Because of the profound importance of hunting up until the development of farming and livestock domestication say 12,000 years ago (less than 0.5% of our history as the genus [censored]), the urge to hunt is rooted at least three million years back in our genome, and many of us males are still firmly in the sway of those ancient genes.

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Like sex and the propagation of the species, , there’s a pleasure seeking aspect to it.

It’s a basic drive.

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Lloyd3 Offline OP
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CZ: I know it is for me, and LGF is spot on about the almost-genetic pull of it. But....such activities are considered largely anachronistic and even cruel by vast swaths of the general population these days. My own son is interested but.... if it wasn't convenient (caused mostly by yours truly funding and then planning for it almost year-round now) it probably wouldn't happen for him. I have always maintained that you had to have come from a hunting family (or at least a hunting culture) to continue to pursue it throughout your lifetime. Neither of these two young men come from either that I know of. I'm perplexed, pleasantly so, but still a bit surprised by it.

Last edited by Lloyd3; 07/04/21 09:17 PM.
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Again the Meat Eater comes through,this time with a good documentary on this very question.

Stars in the Sky on Netflix

Last edited by FallCreekFan; 07/04/21 09:38 PM.
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Well stated LGF. I'm with the anthropologists that believe bipedalism (the erectus part) and use of tools like spears let man move into the world's grasslands, the greatest source of meat protein. I don't believe it is mere coincidence that CO2 levels began their slow rise about 7000 years ago, 5000 years after deglaciation, as newer tools allowed agriculture and the domestication of animals. Between the two, the carbon stored in the soil by the deep fibrous roots of the grasses began to be used to raise annual crops and animals. Much of the Middle East was once grassland ('milk and honey" come to mind). Forest soils contain little carbon. Have no data, but I believe much or possibly even more of the recent increase in atmospheric CO2 can be attributed to the conversion of most of the grasslands in the Western Hemisphere with new mechanical tools powered by other carbon-rich substances.

So if we are going to try and reduce CO2 in our atmosphere, we should be planting perennial grasses on existing cropland rather than trees on poor forest soils. Management? Prescribed burning and and grazing of course. Then all we have to do is keep from starving!

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Hal, I agree 100% and wish there were more emphasis on restoring grasslands and their soils. It is not only the western hemisphere. I work in East Africa, where truly vast regions of former grassland have been turned into rock desert by overgrazing just in the last century. As you say, the same is true of the Mediterranean and Middle East, but there it happened much longer ago, and I would guess that central Asia has also been desertified by livestock. Plus our Southwest and much of Mexico, and probably large chunks of Australia in the last few centuries.

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