Hunting is so much more than just bringing down a deer. The zen of hunting is about mindfulness and getting back to nature and yourself.
Yes, harvesting game is nice, but what many non-hunters don't understand about the sport is that hunting is so much more than just putting dinner on the table. It's about being in the woods at dawn and watching the first rays of sunlight sneak through the trees. It's watching the forest come alive as squirrels start their hurried dance and birds take flight.
There really is a zen to hunting and it's hard to explain to those who have never experienced it.
Back to Nature
Part of what makes hunting great is getting back to nature. There is nothing better than sitting in the woods on a quiet morning and watching life move around you. Hunting is about taking a deep breath of fresh mountain air and feeling it in your soul. You don't hear the madness of city streets; beeping horns and the bustle of urban living. Instead, hunting requires you to be quiet and listen to the forest breathe.
Hunting gives you the opportunity to close your eyes, relax against an oak tree and feel one with the forest. You're no longer a trespasser, but one that was meant to be there, part of the whole. Hunting lets you sit; quiet and still, just being. There is no rush, no hurry. You are simply there to experience the woods, the animals and the hunt.
In a world where you are constantly being pulled 25 different directions, told to hurry up and rush, rush, rush, the zen of hunting takes all that away and replaces it with simply being alive and in the moment.
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Hunting forces you to be aware of your surroundings and its inhabitants. It brings your attention to the smallest of sounds, scents and sights, things that you normally wouldn't notice. Hunting is hearing leaves crunch behind you and knowing, without a doubt, that a deer is preparing to walk by. It's watching that deer pass without noticing your presence. It's feeling the bow as an extension of yourself as you raise it and release, watching the arrow hit its target.
Hunting is watching the deer fall and giving thanks and appreciation for the food it provides. It's understanding the give and take of life. Hunting is seeing and recognizing the majesty of nature's beasts and taking only what you need to sustain.
Hunting gives you the solitude that is so hard to find in today's modern world. When you're in the woods, there is no cell phone, there is no commute. There is only this thing that draws you back to the basics and allows you to get in touch with what it means to be alive. The zen of hunting gives you time to be alone in your head, reflect on yourself and be who you are.
Hunting becomes a reflection and meditation that helps you focus on what's important to you in your life. It's what keeps you calm. After a hunt, you feel relaxed and centered, ready to move forward on this journey through life.
For those that hunt, you already know that hunting is more than it appears. For those who are new to the sport, you will soon learn.
Hunting is an experience unlike any other. It brings you back to yourself, gives you time to think and time to be. It fosters reflection and mindfulness and allows you to be still and quiet, forgetting about the stresses of life.
This is why people do it. This is the zen of hunting.