Hunting. Yeah, big challenge there.Posted: October 6, 2009
Recently my son and I were talking about hunting. I don’t know why we did that, neither of us hunts or has any interest in starting. All the same, we did have that talk.
The talk got around to the idea that even though hunters call themselves sportsmen, the sport is decidedly one sided. The hunter is always on offense, the prey on defense. The hunter either wins, or he goes to have a beer with his friends and plans the next trip. The prey loses, or lives to eat more leaves. Nothing really out of the box in that talk. Its been said before.
I brought up the point that some people go on photo safaris and take pictures of animals. Thats much more humane, everyone goes home happy. He pointed out that doing that isn’t all that challenging. Interesting, maybe artistic, but pointing a Nikon out of a Land Rover from a hundred yards isn’t really all that high risk.
We put our heads together to come up with a form of hunting that was demanding on the hunter, much more challenging than shooting animals from a distance with a gun or a camera.
At the same time, we resolved, the animals involved had to have a chance. To be sure, we could not teach them to fight back or participate in the sport. Their participation had to be based strictly on their natural instincts of fight or flight.
Our new sport meets both our criteria. We think it can take off and be successful. The only thing the sport lacks is a name.
Our sport would challenge sportsmen to not shoot with a camera or gun. Success would not be measured in heads on a wall or framed photos. Success in this sport would be measured by an individuals skill in touching animals.
Getting started in the sport would be easy. Sportsmen could start out with domesticated animals, petting a dog, touching a cow. But the challenges would move up in difficulty when they moved on to wild animals.
Imagine the thrill of finally successfully touching a deer in the wild after years of trying. The work put into the successful effort. The strategy – is it better to lie in wait or sneak up on the deer?
The animal, lets say the deer, would feel something touch its leg, look down and see a hand and arm coming out of a well camouflaged hiding spot. Would he run away? Would he stomp on the hiding spot? Who knows? At least we could know that nature would have a role in the sport.
Some sportsmen wouldn’t be satisfied with touching a gentle herbivore like deer. They could travel to Canada to try their hand at touching a bear, or India to grab the tail of an unsuspecting tiger in the wild.
Popping out of a carefully dug and disguised hole, grabbing the leg of a grizzly bear and trying to get back to safety before he figured out what happened would be a challenge and a thrill.
Now the more cynical among you are thinking to yourselves, I could just say I touched a komodo dragon and a leopard and no one would know if it was the truth. Not so fast, cheater.
Helmet camera technology, borrowed from skydivers, should be the answer. In fact, we believe that responsible sportsmen will wear their own helmet camera as well as have someone nearby with their own camera to confirm their animal touches. What better way to take doubt out of the equation?
Or perhaps know where to start looking for the body.
No discussion of this idea would be complete without the video of the deer whipping up on the hunter. This is a perfect example of someone documenting the man touching the deer, but not doing anything to help the man. Hey dude, nice touch.