I stood over the first deer I had ever killed. Blood streaked the snow where the Mulie doe had slid to a stop forty yards from the point a .375 caliber bullet from my Winchester Model 70 had struck her. Colorado’s magnificent high country tumbled and jutted to the horizon around me. The stark majesty juxtaposed the death tableau at my feet. Elation, sorrow, guilt, triumph all fought a simultaneous pitched battle in my mind as adrenalin supercharged blood surged through my heart and pounded in my ears which still rang from the shot’s thunder clap.
A moment later, my hunting companions—the mentors who had introduced me to hunting— joined me after a two hundred yard trudge up the sharp sagebrush and ponderosa pine studded slope upon which I stood and the deer lay. They congratulated me in tones reserved for sacred places—no childish whooping or hollering. They understood the moment’s gravity. I wasn’t sure I deserved congratulations, though. I had taken a life. I had stepped through an irreversible door into a new and somewhat frightening world. Myriad choices for my future rushed toward me. Had I become a callous killer or would I become an emotionally wrought anti-hunter? I had imagined many possible actions to mark this moment which, for the previous two hunting seasons, I had doubted would ever happen.
The universe swirled back into focus, only one act seemed to make any sense. I knelt beside the lifeless animal, reached forth a still tremulous hand, and stroked the course hair. The body’s warmth surprised me. The dilated eyes stared into eternity, glass-like and empty. I stroked the doe as I would a fallen loyal pet. “Thank you,” I managed to whisper. “Thank you.”
As my companions supervised my unmaking the deer, something ancient, something primal grew within my psyche. The being I considered me blended and flowed as one with the mountains, the snow, the cold blue sky, the deer, and my friends. I emerged through the terrible, fateful door a new spirit unified with life’s unflinching truths, more joined with Nature than ever. Yes, I had brought death, but through such loss, life came round to me and my family and I now understood my duty as a thread in this web.
I had not become a cynical thrill killer, rather a sober, rational, natural force which kept a delicate balance. I had become a hunter. No longer did I skulk amongst the lesser people who killed by proxy and picked sanitized, plastic wrapped chunks from a supermarket meat case. No. Now I had the temerity to look my diner in the eye. I knew the pain, effort, and victorious sadness whereby all my ancestors had fed themselves, and I saw the true, honest, unflinching way forward.
A year or two after this epiphany, I introduced my wife to hunting’s wonder, and she too embraced this unique and ancient life.
In 2007 we decided we could no longer endure the crowded, polluted, cynical, and materialistic Denver Metro area. We picked up and moved to Montana to find a deeper connection with the land and ourselves. While it sounds a bit New-Age, or recycled Hippie (I am neither), and we are both grounded in science and reality, there are few words which can describe the mental and physical transformation from suburban shoppers to rural semi-subsistence hunters, gathers, and livestock raisers. We’re better for it, too.
In 2017, we decided to merge our love for hunting with our love for writing and publishing. We founded LocaCarnivore Hunter Magazine to share this more natural existence with others, but we wanted to do it in an authentic, independent, and enthusiastic way.
LocaCarnivore Hunter is dedicated to drawing life and sustenance from one’s local surroundings. We provide a unique, reality-based perspective dedicated to all those everyday hunters out there who cherish their role in the environment around them. We believe hunting forges a bond between humans and Nature stronger and better than any other path.
We hunt to live. This means we hunt to eat. We derive most of our meat for any given year from wild game in our local area. Bucket list hunts are fine (we have our own short list if opportunity ever presents itself) but we stand for the work-a-day hunter. The people who want to feed their families the best food on the planet, and sustain and preserve the dwindling places where this is still possible.
Join us as we share our knowledge, our victories, our failures, our misgivings, our insights, and our love for the land and all the creatures who share it with us. Join us as fellow Locacarnivores and we promise you unvarnished truth about hunting and life lived closer to nature. Unfiltered. Independent. Authentic. You’ll be glad you did.