Hunting

Why hunting is like religion to me

Growing up in a hunting family, I always knew, in order to feel complete, I needed to become a hunter and fisher myself.

Hunting has taken me to incredibly beautiful destinations across the world. But regardless of where I travel, being a hunter has given me an overwhelming sense of responsibility to nurture and care for other living beings.

“In order to feel complete, I needed to become a hunter.”

To my mind, knowing how to hunt and process wild game and fish creates a well-rounded individual who has a deeper understanding of the natural world, something many people lack in this day and age.

Buying wrapped steaks at the store teaches nothing – knowing that a life has been lost to provide the meat I need brings home the importance of survival and the truth of life and death.

There are many successful hunters that rely completely on their own skills to hunt, but working with a hunting dog is a great way to combine both your skills. Always by my side is my German longhaired pointer, Josef vom Eulenspiegel. He is my best friend, companion and an integral part of most of my hunting adventures.

“To my mind knowing how to hunt and process wild game and fish creates a well-rounded individual who has a deeper understanding of the natural world.”

Hunting makes me part of nature. I have no words for the feeling of watching the sunrise and hearing the woods come to life on a crisp winter morning after a night hunting boar out in the woods.

The closer I get to nature the more I feel I’ve gone back in time. I started taking photos to capture stories that inspire humans to greater consideration of their relationship to nature and untamed wilderness. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ goes the saying and in these days, when one of the hardest things about being a hunter is trying to explain why I hunt, I try to portray hunting as a nearly religious experience.

Here, I mean something that words can’t describe. If you don’t exaggerate with technical devices that help you achieve your hunting goals, hunting is a highly mystical and indescribable hide and seek game. No spot is really reliable, the weather is never predictable, the wind never steady and no hunting technique always the right method of choice.

A certain spot could be highly frequented by boars for weeks, except the one day you are trying your luck there. Hunting evokes strong emotions. I once watched somebody shooting a doe while the kid was close to it during winter. This touched me immensely and kept me awake for nights. I knew that the winter would give the kid a hard time. So, I felt I had to shoot it as well. The following days the weather was bad. I doubted to find the needle in the haystack. But on the day before Christmas, a few minutes after I arrived at my hunting post, the kid suddenly appeared in front of me already marked by the winter. It was easy to put the kid out of its misery. So, to me experiencing the indescribable, this is what hunting is all about.

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