This weekend, over ten percent of all men living in the American south are going to pack up their guns, hamburger buns, and beer kegs, cram it all into their gas-guzzling trucks, and wheel down to the last remaining stretch of wilderness within a fifty mile radius. Once there, they will camp out with other like-minded men, sit ten feet in the air, and drink beer until they’re too intoxicated to distinguish a tree from a moving deer-or if you’re Dick Cheny, a quail from a close friend. This is generally considered to be a masculine thing to do. But as an outsider to the hunting world, I think there is one glaring problem with the hunter-gatherer schema: All the man has been yanked out of the hunting Manwich.
Let’s be honest, guys. Where’s the sport in waiting for a helpless animal to come waltzing into range, plugging it from a safe distance, and then scraping the entrails from its stinking corpse? Granted, shooting anything with a six-pack of beer in the blood system is a challenge, but on the whole, modern weaponry has nullified any fun hunting had to offer. Thankfully, there is a quick, easy, and retro solution to hunting’s problems.
What I propose, and it really is a modest proposal, is that everyone huck their rifles, shotguns, and peashooters into the ocean. Take a step back this hunting season. Let’s get rid of the modern luxuries and go back to hunting basics; knives, spears, rocks, baseball bats. Keep the gun case locked this season, and I promise it will be more fun.
For example, imagine this: It’s ten at night, and the woods are dark. The hunters creep through the underbrush, smelling the cold air with flared nostrils, desperately hunting for their prey. Suddenly, they catch the scent, and the hunt is on. Ducking, weaving, running past the branches. Ten more strides, and there it is. The bear.
A few of them take the right and the rest go left. Two of them have steak-knives, and the rest have common cutlery. First, the right wing attacks, and the bear fights back viciously. The night is cut by the harsh cries of the wounded and the pissed-off growling of the bear. While the beast is distracted, the left wing moves forward. They lunge, and the knives sink in deep. The bear thinks its personal now, and half the party is mauled like a Christmas ham at a homeless shelter. They stab again and again, and the fur becomes matted and bloody. Soon enough, the beast goes down, and the battle is won.
Feel the primal fury. This is the way your ancestors felt just before they stripped the carcass and carried the meat back to the cave, leaving the dead and wounded beside the looted corpse. This is instinct. This is hunting.
Humans haven’t had to hunt like this for a millennia. We have become soft and fleshy, weak and vulnerable. What happened to the day when bringing home the bacon was a life or death decision? What happened to the bloodlust that men-truly masculine men-used to feel as they chased the gazelle with only a blunt stick and a hungry stomach? Why, oh potbellied hunters of the world, shouldn’t we go back to those simpler days?
So come all ye faithful! Leave thy rifles at home; they are the tools of wussies! Leave thy shotguns underneath thy mattress; you will not be sleeping safely tonight! Back! Back to the woods we go, and this time we will bathe in blood, not Budweiser! Your stuffed trophies shall be earned in tears, and we will become men again!
Back to the woods!