This is Part 2 of our 3 Part series focused on what it means to "Rise, Kill, and Eat." Check out Part 1, entitled Rise, at rkeafield.com. And stay tuned for Part 3 coming soon.
The act of killing a wild animal takes a certain amount of courage and respect for that animal. Any responsible hunter will do all that they can to take an ethical,well-placed shot in the hopes that they will quickly expire the animal without a great deal of suffering. Hunting and fishing for the purposes of acquiring meat is dirty business and it will require you to look inside of yourself to determine if this is something that you truly want to take part of. It takes hours and hours of practice, preparation, and study in order to be fortunate enough to be able to squeeze that trigger in the direction of an animal.
But there is nothing else like it.
Pulling that trigger, releasing that string, or reeling in your future meal brings an experience of joy and excitement and, for a brief moment, we are able to connect with a primal side of ourselves that can not be discovered any other way. We are able to feel that same feeling that our forefathers felt. Believe it or not, there used to be a time in this world where grocery stores didn't exist and you couldn't just pick up a slab of ribs in aisle 4 like you can now.
I know, crazy right?
Hunting, especially early hunting, is one reason that the human race is still in existence today because your great-great-great-great-great grandfather would scour the woods and come home with whatever type of meat he could shoot, trap, or catch.
But today's hunting has changed quite a bit. Most of us that are out pursuing wild animals, are not starving for protein and are able to drive down to the grocery store and pick up a pound of ground beef if we need it. But, there is still something to be said about a man or woman that is willing to wake up at half past insanity in order to probably sit in the cold and wait for a tasty animal to walk by (or not walk by). Killing one of these animals can be exciting and can give you a rush like no other. But this is only the start of it.
When you pull that trigger or let go of that release and you say that your target is down. The true joy then sets in. After you celebrate your achievement and take countless photos, you begin to field dress this freshly killed animal. This is when you truly realize the capacity of what you have done. That animal that was alive just moments beforehand is now on its way to your freezer to feed your family, friends, and yourself. As you remove inedible parts and carefully separate pieces of meat from their bony attachments, this is when you will feel a certain type of joy.
Almost like a thankful type of joy. Thankful for living in a country where we are able to hunt and consume our prey. Thankful for the stories that we will share about our adventures to our friends, kids, and grandchildren. Thankful for the animal that now lay on the ground in front of you. And thankful for God allowing us to have dominion over the creatures of the Earth.
As brutal and unforgiving the act of killing a wild animal can be, there is a side of it that most people simply do not understand and probably will not understand until they do it themselves within the limits of the law. It is our hope that this reading has shined a new light on killing for food and that killing is not necessarily a bad thing to participate in if it is done ethically, legally, and with a thankful heart.