One cold and bleak December day, I set off into the woods with the sole intention of shooting a grouse for dinner. There would be no sport today; no explosive flushes, no finely crafted double barreled shotguns, no spectacular wing shots. They have their place but not today. A semester at college had made me hungry for fresh, clean, unprocessed meat. I would shoot the bird in the head, on the ground, with a .22 rifle. I was unashamedly out to kill.
It was getting dark when I glanced up into the dark boughs of the spruce. I had searched every alder thicket, brush pile, and apple tree that I knew of and here, not one hundred yards from my back door, was the dark, unmistakable, silhouette of a grouse. I slowly raised my rifle, took
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The instinct is in all of us and it does not necessarily have to involve killing. It is the force which motivates us to seek and capture a goal. I hunt, some play football. It might seem silly equating football with hunting but let's look at the elements involved. In football, a man chases another man that has something he wants--namely the ball (Marsh 112). Still sound silly? Could it be that my sister's insatiable appetite for shopping is just a socially acceptably means for satisfying some primal instinct? While we all possess a certain "nostalgia" for the past, there are those among us who would want us to deny who we are and our history, the very essence of our predatory nature. We must accept that in some way or another we are all hunters (Herndon 63-64).
I looked down at the motionless body that lay at my feet. It was such a beautiful bird with its rufous coloration, fan-like tail, and gray banded breast. Such a beautiful bird. Such a beautiful bird. I have always been a rather reluctant killer, always feeling some degree of guilt, even with the smallest of creatures but this time was different. I was overcome with guilt. A tear formed. How could I do this? How could I kill the things that had meant so much to me in my life?. . .
"One does not hunt in order to kill; on the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted (Ortega 97)."
The kill is not the most important aspect of