The emotions that go along with this are hard for any nonhunter to understand. There is a literal weight of an organ that earlier in the day, beat inside an animal and the figurative weight of choosing to kill an animal to fill your freezer.
There is a dedication of always wanting to be better, to be ready for the right shot at the right moment. It’s spending money on gear, clothing and licenses every year. It’s packing up and heading into the woods, when it’s dark and coming out when it’s dark, day after day, hoping to get your chance.
It’s appreciating the animal’s sacrifice and having a moment to give thanks before the work begins. Knowing that this animal will feed your family and friends for the year ahead.
It’s not something a hunter takes lightly.