“Brock, I’m tellin' ya, there ain’t nothin’ like sneakin’ up on a herd a them things, pullin’ out your gun, takin’ one of ‘em out, and then mountin’ the crap out of ‘em. You ain’t a man until you’ve experienced that, I tell you what.”
I don’t know if we’re talking about hunting down a bull elk, or stalking an ex-girlfriend to the point of getting a restraining order, but neither of those sound very appealing at all.
For full effect, download “All For Nothing” by Linkin Park, and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post.
“What is your problem Brock? You might as well just turn in your man card if you don’t love just bein’ out here on God’s green earth starin’ down packs of animals with your binoculars from three miles away. You ain’t a man sir, that’s ferdamnsure. Chuck Norris, the manliest man there ever was, would agree with me.”
Well, I have saved a seven-year old from drowning, began shaving when I turned 12, played enough football to cause brain damage, and have seen all five of the Die Hard movies without shedding a tear, so I think it’s safe to say that I’m as manly as they come. Just because I don’t get all hot and bothered by sitting in a tree stand for six hours while it’s pouring rain so I can track down a four-pointer in the middle of nowhere does not mean I need to turn my man card in to you, or to Chuck Norris for that matter.
“How can you not just love hunting? You ain’t American’ son. That just ain’t right. Shootin’ an animal is an experience you just can’t duplicate. We gotta get you out there. We gotta get you killin’ somethin’, then you’ll be hooked I tell you what.”
When I was 18 years old I tagged along with my Uncle down to San Antonio, Texas where we stayed on an exotic game ranch full of animals that were thousands of miles away from their natural habitat. One Saturday morning my Uncle came to me and said, “Brock, let’s go get your first kill.” So I got off the couch, turned off Spider-Man 2, jumped into a jeep and started a voyage up the mountain looking to start stalking my prey. About 10 minutes up the dirt road we came upon two bighorn rams sitting around looking for daisies to munch on about 100 yards ahead of us. My Uncle leaned back, handed me a rifle and said, “Take ‘em out boy, them’s some sweet pickins fer ya.”
Holding the cold steel in my hands I sized them up, took a deep breath and pulled the trigger, missing them both by a mile. It didn’t matter though, the rams stayed out in the field munching on their daisies, almost like they were chained to the hill and drugged down with depressants to prevent them from having a panic attack if any loud noise went whizzing by their ears. My Uncle shook his head grabbed the gun and sized the animals up in the scope for me. “All you need to do now is just pull the trigger boy.” I took another deep breath while staring them down, did what he said and dropped one of them like it was hot. Cheers and slaps on the back went around the jeep as we drove up. We jumped out, took a few pictures, handed the ram to the rancher and drove back to the ranch house where I returned to the couch just in time to catch the end of Spider-Man 2.
That is my experience of hunting. A ten-minute drive and a force-fed rifle scoped up and handed to me. I don’t know how you think I became more of a man because of that Saturday morning.
“There’s something about hunting that you can’t really describe in words. It’s about being one with God, and reflecting with Mother Nature. It’s giving and receiving, finding your balance with the Universe, and then pulling the trigger on a .338 LaPua to drop a bull elk right in its tracks. You ain’t a man ‘til you’ve experienced that.”
If your definition of being a man is a cross between the lyrics to the Pocahontas soundtrack and having a massive case of Small Man Syndrome just so you can tell a worthless story about the head on your wall that you mounted, well, looks like I’m switching sides. Can someone get me Chuck Norris on the line so I can send him my letter of resignation.