Hunting: It’s More Sublime Than You Might Think

Preaching in the Dakotas

July 22, 2013 Comments (0) Uncategorized

Hunting and Writing: Not That Far Apart

Hunting, I predict, will be the next hipster activity. Having taken to carving their own meat, mixing handcrafted cocktails, and growing mustaches, I expect that a bunch of skinny-jeaners are going to join me afield in the coming years.

Yesterday, hunter and writer Steven Rinella wrote about how he is both a serious writer and a big game hunter, a combo to which I also aspire:

Writers are motivated by a sense of exclusivity, by their conviction that they possess unique knowledge and insight. As I bounced between the primal brutality of the mountains and the civilized brutality of writing workshops, I began to understand what separated my ideas about the world from those of my peers. As I followed the path of the hunter, my worldview had become colored by ever-present conflict: the conflict between predator and prey, the conflict of practicing an ancient discipline while living an otherwise modern life, the even more perplexing conflict between the hunter’s love for his quarry and his desire to kill it. If anyone doubts the artistic validity of these ethical and spiritual conundrums, consider that some of the oldest known paintings on earth were created by Paleolithic Europeans who ventured into caves some 30,000 to 40,000 years ago to create beautiful renderings of the same species that they killed. [Read the rest: Kill Your Darlings – NYTimes.com]

Last year, the NYT profiled Rinella and other young hunter-writers.

Right now, I am neck-deep in a book manuscript that is due at the end of the year. I’m also scouting duck and pheasant hunting opportunities — waterfowl opener is two months from yesterday! I’m getting Albert in shape for the hunting season, envying gear that I wish I could afford, and listening as ducks quack overhead at the cabin.

Rinella is right, hunting and writing are akin to one another. Each requires extraordinary patience and persistence. And each is, in my experience lonely. Not bad lonely, but lonely.

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