The Hunters Way, Chapter Two
“Nature’s balance displays beauty and decay in equal measure.
She shows benevolence and cruelty in equal measure.
What is good for some of Her charges is bad for others.
What is bad for some of Her charges is good for others.
The gale-felled tree shelters the ground game and hides the vulnerable.
The leaf fall feeds the soil to grow and sustain the next tree.
The wind disguises the vixens stalk and the rabbit falls prey.
The zephyr exposes the foxes musk and the rabbit lives.
The long summer day allows Her charges to forage and feast.
The bitter winters chill presses them to merely survive.
This years diseased rabbit warren bears no fruit.
Next years warren is fertile and abundant.
The sun rises, the sun sinks. The moon waxes, the moon wains.
The tide flows, the tide ebbs. Seasons rise, seasons fall.
The Hunter watches and adjusts to Nature’s conditions.
He takes when it’s right to take and leaves when it’s wrong.
He adds where he can and expects no credit.
He sustains what is important and protects what is vulnerable.
So that it is there tomorrow. So that it is there forever.”
Though many of us will never find that enlightenment, we can all find Nature for it surrounds us. Yet few truly do. I mean real Nature, not false Nature. I don’t mean a walk through the blue-bells or a trip to the zoo. I don’t mean staring at a television documentary or reading a glossy wildlife magazine. To really find Nature you need to go into the wild and watch it in all its glory or its modesty. To understand Nature, you need to understand life and death, growth or decline, health or disease, compassion and cruelty. Most importantly you need to understand man-kinds role in Nature. We are a participant in this eternal drama, not the author of it. That honour falls to a much more reliable entity. Nature herself. As one of the higher organisms in Her design … and one of the alpha predators … we can influence that drama but should never seek to control it. The Hunter, who spends much of his time steeped in the study of the wild world around him, is in a position to respect Natures work. To see first-hand what Nature is capable of. To benefit or to suffer at Natures hand. The human Hunter is just another predator in Natures design yet has the benefit of not just reasoning but conscience. No other wild predator has the latter. For that reason alone, the Hunter must exhibit control, restraint, compassion and respect at all times. He must learn to conserve and to farm, not to slaughter. To protect the vulnerable species, thus helping maintain Natures balance, yet never annihilating other species. This is what I call The Hunter’s Way.
Copyright Ian Barnett, Wildscribbler December 2015. Find the book in this websites Books section.