KEEN TO FIND OUT HOW TO START?
Where is your meat coming from? The real reason I took up Bowhunting.
Growing up on the South Coast of N.S.W. Australia, I was exposed to farming at an early age. Watching cattle and sheep in the fields driving up and down the local farming areas.
As a kid you don't understand the real reason they're there.
When I was in my teens my first experience of proper farming practices rocked me to the core... Cattle De-horning.
Needless to say that the sight of cows having their heads clamped and their horns cut off was absolutely brutal. It sticks with me even until this day.
I understand that without this process the cattle could injure or kill each other... which got me pondering the thought...
"The only reason they need to do this is to ensure that the cattle gets to the butcher so it can feed us."
I realised that I was the reason the cattle were going through this.
I hated this prospect... I hated the fact that I was part of the problem.
In all honesty the whole process sucks. A calf is born and within a week is pumped full of chemicals and medicine. This is essential to keep disease at bay and is carried on periodically throughout the life of the animal.
All their life they are herded by dogs ripping at their heels and noses into yards and transported in tight cages to their slaughter.
And all because humans need it.
I decided that I could not be apart of this anymore. I knew as a human I needed to eat meat but I didn't want to be apart of the problem.
I wanted to know exactly what I was eating, where it came from and what conditions it lived in.
This is what sparked my search into ethical hunting.
It started one day when myself and a colleague were talking about this topic. He was from New Zealand and had the same reservations as myself on factory farming and ethical treatment of animals. He told me that back in NZ he and his father used to go out hunting for goats and deer for their own meat. They would take completely free ranged animals that were un-farmed, un-medicated and hormone free to eat and provide for the family. Wild Deer, Goat, Sheep and Pigs were the main source of protein that they would take.
Being inspired by this I looked into the availability of hunting in Australia.
I liked the idea that I would be responsible for the process. That the animals I would hunt would be untouched by anyone, not be pumped full of hormones and be wild and free.
To say it has been easy would be a lie. I understand it's not for everyone. It is still the hardest thing I have ever done.
Taking an animals life is confronting. It carries a major responsibility on my part to ensure I train, practice and dedicate myself daily to my decision.
But I wouldn't have it any other way.
I took up archery and pursued my new choice and today I see it as the best choice I ever made. I decided to take ownership of my impact on my environment, to make a decision to ethically harvest my own meat and to provide high quality hormone free meat from a fully sustainable source.
And now I am truly grateful to be able to do so and share the experiences and produce with the ones that I care about. Giving back instead of taking.