All of us here at the CSSA wish all of you a happy and successful hunting season!
We share your love of our culture and heritage. We share your passion for all the many blessings the harvest season brings us.
We share your joy and gratitude when we take in a small portion of the bounty of this land to feed our families through the coming winter.
We share your commitment to mark our passage through the wilds by always leaving it better than we found it.
We share your respect for nature and the reverence we feel for the wonders of Canada.
And we share your pain in that moment when a beautiful animal’s life is ended so we may feed ourselves and our families for another year.
We pity those who don’t share our passion, our culture or our heritage. Sadly, they will never comprehend the love and commitment required to feed our families through our own actions.
They will never understand the fundamental truths of the natural order of things – that our place as the apex predator on Earth demands a responsibility and stewardship for all our world’s creatures, great and small.
They cannot comprehend our desire to take the ultimate obligation to feed our families and they cannot comprehend that they are contract killers who hire out the harvesting of meat on shrink-wrapped, sterilized foam trays.
But this wonderful season is not just about harvesting an animal or feeding our families.
It’s about taking the time to walk the land, to hear the chatter of a squirrel in the tree as we walk nearby.
It’s about listening to the dried leaves fall from the trees, a tiny crystal chime for every branch they strike on their way to the ground.
It’s about the heightening of our senses of sight, smell and hearing as we move through the bush on our way to that perfect sanctuary where we will spend the day.
It’s about the time alone to meditate on the meaning of our lives, of the work we do, of the people we love and have loved, of the people whose lives we impact by the random acts of kindness nobody else will ever see.
It’s about gratitude for the mentor who passed down this love of nature and the skills required to harvest for our families.
It’s about teaching our children these skills and this love so it is not lost to the incessant cry for ‘progress’.
It’s about practicing our culture of safety – honed to second nature over a lifetime – so that every hunter who leaves their home also returns to it safely at the end of their trip.
Ultimately, it’s not about success or failure; it’s about the journey to that magical space where distance is measured in kilometres hiked – not driven – and time is measured by the sun’s place in the sky, not by the clock on your smart phone.
It’s about all this and so much more and those who don’t share our passion for this beautiful culture and way of life cannot comprehend why we’re never lonely – even though we sit alone in a deer stand from dawn until dusk.
“One does not hunt in order to kill. One kills in order to have hunted.”
– José Ortega y Gasset,
Happy Hunting, everyone, and please stay safe while you enjoy this most enchanting time of year.