Monday, February 28, 2011

True Grit

Jan 10, 2010

So I saw the movie True Grit today.  It got me to thinking about hunting and the outdoors.  I missed hunting season this past year, and wish I could have gone.  To make up for it I try to watch outdoor hunting shows.  For those who don’t know, a lot of the hunting shows are sponsored by ranches where you can pay to go on a hunting vacation there.  You get to stay at a nice lodge at the ranch.  They cook good home cooked meals for you.  Then, they provide a hunting guide and hunting supplies for you.  A lot of this includes the use of all terrain vehicles and four wheel drives. 
However, sometimes I think some of these ranches do things a bit underhanded.  I remember seeing one ranch that was located in Africa. that offered a hunting package for various African game.  However, what they basically had was a man made water trough.  The visiting hunter would then hide in a blind that was positioned for a clear shot at the water trough.  Then various animals from the area would come drink from the water, and that’s when the hunter would shoot them.  The water trough was located very close to the ranch.  To me, it just seemed like a canned hunt. 
Some of the American ranches out west use a lot of equipment to help in hunting.  The guide will transport you by a four wheel drive or a specialized ATV.  He will take you to a deer blind that looks like a very nice shed built fifteen feet off the ground.  The blind will face a field where they plant food for the deer.  Then it’s sit and wait for a large number of deer to come in.  After that, you can take your pick of what deer you want to shoot.  Once you shoot a deer you don’t have to do that much.  The guide will call in a vehicle to come pick you and the deer up.  Then someone else will skin it out.  If you want they will even hand the head over to their taxidermist to mount it for you.

Every single one of these places makes it as comfortable and relaxing as can be.  They truly make it a vacation.  From a business point of view it’s a good idea.  Make it a vacation and a lot of fun.  There are also a lot of activities that go on every night.  It’s all about having a good time.
But still, something doesn’t sit right with me.  I think back to the movie True Grit.  Maddie asks Rooster Cogburn if he has true grit.  I think a true hunting adventure should be about true grit.  It should be done on horseback.  You can only take what you and your horses can carry.  If there are enough hunters traveling together I think a chuck wagon would be fair to bring along.  No scopes on rifles would be allowed.  Only old time rifles would be allowed.  I’m talking about Henry, Sharps, and 1872 Winchester rifles would be allowed.  I believe in chasing the herd for days.  I believe campfires are mandatory, and hunters should sleep on the ground.  No modern electronics would be allowed except an emergency phone.  All things should be done as they would have been in the late 1800’s. 
I think that’s what a true hunting adventure should be like.  However, I think what my Dad would say about that.  As soon as he would hear about horses and sleeping on the ground he would be out.  I can’t get Dad to sleep in a tent, much less sleep out under the stars on the ground.  I’d tell him it’s all about true grit, but I’m sure he would tell me that I could have his share of true grit. 

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