Same As It Ever Was

By Joshua R. Quong

When the Good Lord granted the first chimpish homo the wherewithal to chuck a rock or pointy stick at whatever prehistoric rabbit hopped from out the ooze, He sparked that divine killing flame. Yet man, flawed and imperfect as he is, convoluted the gift he was given, and like Cain, became jealous.

To flesh-out this idea, envision our hairy ancestor returning with his kill to his tribal home. The other members of his clan seeing and smelling the meaty carcass he carried would have most assuredly spat out the twigs and roots on which they gnawed, and gawked at this first hunter as he sauntered by. They would have grunted queries at him as to how he had killed his rabbit, and he in turn would have replied by apportioning some of his kill, recounting his hunting story, and teaching his tribe how to kill their own rabbits. One could not imagine a more sound and harmonious system.

But amid the harmony there was most assuredly some contrary root chewer who would have tried his damnedest to draw notice to himself by interjecting nonsense in an effort to ruin the whole enterprise:

“He let his kid kill that rabbit on private land!”

Zoom ahead from those primitive days and not much has changed.

One of the favorite blathers the modern hunting contrarian espouses to sow discord among the tribe is that “pay hunting isn’t hunting.”

These pseudo polymaths are quick to point a digital finger via podcast or social media post at anyone who dare trade with a guide or outfitter. Then they piously profess that anyone who does is somehow less of a hunter and less of a man.

The first part of their statement appears to pose an honest stance which one may argue against with the proposition that all hunting is pay hunting, from licensure to taxes to time invested to whatever in the hell else lets one sleep at night.

But it is the second part of the gibe which exposes the heart of the matter. The contrarian resorts to the lowest level of insecurity like Lady Macbeth jabbing at her husband’s manhood to persuade him to kill the good King Duncan. It is a small flex from an even smaller ego.

This is the sort of gobbledygook these false hunting prophets preach begging for accolades and medals but lacking stout chests on which to pin them. The harrumphing is not unlike those sulking, envious bark-biters. For it is not the “pay to play” hunting that they are most perturbed about, but the lack of attention the rest of the tribe is paying to them.