“If you don’t hunt, you might not understand it. It’s a bit like explaining the Eucharist to a Hindu.”
I did not grow up hunting. My father is not a hunter, nor were my grandfathers. It is a chosen avocation of mine, often distasteful to those who share my vocation. I have yet to meet another PhD in theology in the field. Instead, I hunt with firefighters and Army Reservists and computer repairmen.
I hunt only birds, because hunting for me is all about the dog. It all starts with the dog. …
I cannot quite describe for you the allure of the hunt: the joy in watching a dog you’ve trained do exactly what you’d hoped; fighting back the heartbeat in your ears with the whistle of duck wings; the adrenaline rush with the cackle of a rooster taking flight; the satisfaction of bringing game to the table.
I cannot quite explain that fully-orbed experience. But I can tell you at least this much: if you don’t hunt, you might not understand it. It’s a bit like explaining the Eucharist to a Hindu. We are eating flesh and drinking blood, to be sure.
But it’s different than that.
It’s more sublime than that.