I grew up in a rural area where hunting is a common hobby that many people partake in, including my father. I have never had any interest in hunting and I have always felt ambivalent about my father hunting. I am intrigued by the affectionate relationship between the hunter and the deer; where the hunter care for the deer by preserving and improving its habitat as well as securing it’s survival during rough winters, and then the paradox of killing and eating something you are so fond of, as John Berger talks about in his essay ‘Why Look at Animals’.
During the time I spent with the hunters, going out both mornings and evenings, I realized that it was much more a spiritual exercise then a killing sport. We would sit shoulder to shoulder for three hours without moving or making a sound. It was a truly spiritual experience and after all my past failing efforts to meditate I finally had a feeling that I had succeeded. One of the hunters talked extensively about this spiritual aspect and how he felt mentally rejuvenated after having spent a hunting session in nature.