"One does not hunt in order to kill"
Many years ago I came across a quote by Spanish philosopher José Ortega y Gasset, "One does not hunt in order to kill. One kills in order to have hunted."
It's a quote well-known to hunters. It's a good turn of phrase. It made me think. It certainly had the ring of truth. But but it left me unsatisfied. Weren't philosophers those old Greek guys with names like Aristotle and Plato, who walked around ancient Athens all day in togas talking about their theories? And what did an early 20th century Spanish philosopher know about hunting?
I can tell you now that Facebook is like the ancient Greek Agora. It's full of philosophers, many of whom aren't worth listening to. And I can tell you that a Spanish philosopher can have a lot of good things to say about hunting. But I never fully understood what Ortega y Gasset was saying until I read his quote in its context. He was talking about higher and broader purposes in hunting — the satisfactions hunters get that go beyond the result of pulling the trigger or releasing the arrow. Many people will tell us that hunting is passé , something unnecessary in the modern world. If all they mean is that we can now buy our meat at the grocery store, they're right. But what they don't understand is that hunting is more than getting meat, and the longer one hunts the better he understands what Ortega y Gasset was saying. CLICK HERE to read how I reached that understanding in my October 21 column in the Jamestown Gazette, "One does not hunt in order to kill."
Photo by Steve Sorensen: A hunter can travel the world, but if his hunts are only about killing, he will come home unsatisfied. The author took this 8-point in Texas, but the hunt provided many extras.