This evening I took my blood pressure cup/gizmo with me to the nearby slough. Now, the question is whether duck hunting, which is sitting in a duck blind, lowers the blood pressure or has no effect whatsoever.I took my blood pressure before leaving and it was 142/76 pulse 68. After sitting in the blind for 30 minutes I took my blood pressure and it was 136/69 pulse 72. I’m not sure what to make of it but this is only my first day of my not so scientific study of blood pressure and duck hunting. What is interesting is that once I was back in my office I again took my blood pressure and it was 136/79 and my pulse was 82. Now, the only thing I can say to explain it is that I was doing some editing--of my own writing!
This project is turning into an interesting experiment and the more I think about it the more I think I can turn it into a not-so-scientific article. I will haul the blood pressure monitor out with me every day I go hunting until I take the results back to the VA hospital. I am really curious to hear what my physical therapist and my primary care physician have to say about the readings. I’m sure they will both shake their heads in a little bit of disbelief--but then both of them must consider me a bit on the pixilated side of reality.ABOUT THINK TANK II and “SPORT HUNTING”
I’ve been doing some work on my notes and ideas from the Think Tank II. I came away from the gathering wishing it had been at least one day longer. There was a lot of free discussion about the present state of recruitment to the outdoors but I heard something that was, to me, very important for the future of hunting, and it was the simple statement that hunting would be referred to as “hunting” and not “sport hunting” or have any other adjectives affixed to it. This is something that I totally agree with. I believe that we must stop the practice of trying to hide hunting under a pile of adjectives. I make this argument even after a great deal of research has shown me that the basis for “sport hunting” goes back to ancient Greece when the phrase “hunting for sport” actually appears in the writing of Xenophon. One probably asks why I dislike the use of “sport-hunting” in today’s language when it has been in use for more than two-thousand years? My answer is simple--times change! For most of that 2,000+ years hunting was a very blurred activity. Subsistence hunting and sport hunting existed side-by-side and often within the same activity. For the past 100+ years, with only a few exceptions, subsistence hunting has fallen out of use as a “needed” activity leaving only what had been euphemistically called sport hunting in its wake.There are many, many people who rely on hunting to provide them with chemical free, healthy meat protein, but to call that true subsistence is to dally about with semantic spooks. This sort of subsistence hunting is a choice by personal philosophy and not a choice based on true need. I am not belittling modern meat hunting as a means of providing food--I opt for that with deer and other game--it is not, however, a requirement for our survival in today's world. There are Alaskan and South American peoples who still subsistence hunt because if they didn’t they would starve for protein. Could it be that the users of “sport hunting” are drawing a comparison against those aboriginal peoples?
A brief look at the OED and other word research turns up some interesting information, primarily that “sport,” as was applied to hunting, did not necessarily carry positive connotations, even as far back as the 15th and 16th centuries. In the middle of the 19th century “sport” began to increasingly be associated with athletics and less with what had been popularly known as field sports.
The entire evolution of sport and sport hunting is more complex than my quick analysis but the point is that as we move deeper into the 21st century there is even less to be gained by adding “sport” to hunting as a means of modifying hunting. We hunt. We don’t harvest. We don’t box with, play tennis or football with, or any other organized activity, the animals we hunt. We don’t need to lie to ourselves or to the non-hunter by falling back on euphemisms to soften our language. We can start by removing one word and simply saying that we hunt, we go hunting, we are hunters. There is much more to be gained by being honest with ourselves and others than by trying to soothe the taste of words with imitation sugar.
Is that so hard to do?Think about it.