For me hunting is about the challenge. I want the rewards but I need them to come with torment, strife and difficulty. And yes, I want the experiences of changing weather, watching animals in their own undisturbed home range and beautiful vistas.
But, equally important is sharing those experiences and emotions. Having great company on a epic trip makes all the difference.
So when Robbo from Bolt Action Productions invited me south,with three of his close mates, for an eight day backpack hunt into the Alpine National Park pursuing Sambar I was there with bells on . I also appreciated the significance of the invite. For characters like Robbo, an extension of invitation to an outsider is not something granted flippantly.
It is offered with a element of risk. Will the invitee pull his weight? Will he fit in with my mates? Do his values align with our group's beliefs? Can he be relied on and trusted? And is he safety conscience? Can he take a good hearted ribbing and laugh with us?
All issues that have kept my own group to a very tight circle.To Paul, Ian, Ben and Robbo, thanks men. I truly appreciated your company, laughs and experiences. On the last evening we recorded a impromptu discussion around the campfire. It was off the cuff, no script, no briefs just me trying to encourage some recorded discussion from humble Aussie Hunters that don't seek any limelight.
I am sure that Hunters from around the world will be familiar with the background sounds and what it means to us to share a fire, a few drinks and good company.
Public Land Hunting is one of the final vestiges of true freedom in the world today.
Our Yankee mates often mistakenly think they have the pinnacle of access to Public Lands. Yet they are not alone. This is not to say their system is sub par. In fact it is far from it. The US system of using hunting to underpin the ongoing protection, research and growth of American Wildlife is world leading and our American brothers and sisters in hunting should be congratulated on the ongoing efforts to preserve their system from massive pressure of potential State Ownership, Private Interests and other threats.
Alongside the American System is Public Lands in New Zealand and Australia. In Australia hunters can access millions of acres of many Public Lands in Victoria with nothing more than a Game License. In New South Wales it is a little more difficult with a "R" Class License required to access State Forests and a booking and written permission essential. Though both do not require entry to ballots or the issue of tags.All Australian hunters should take advantage of these opportunities. We should promote, cherish and fight to protect this access and leave it in better condition than when we entered it. We should promote the cultural importance that hunting has to us. How time alone in the bush resets the mind. The benefit and appreciation of the free range meat that we gain from a successful hunt, and how we share it and cherish it as gift from the wild, that we, alone, killed, butchered, carried out, prepared and serve to our family and friends.
This action singularly of sharing a wild meal with non-hunters can do more to influence non-hunters how important access is to us to pursue wild game.
As Robbo says "just get out there".