a person who hunts game or other wild animals for food or insport.
a person who searches for or seeks something: a fortune hunter.
a horse specially trained for quietness, stamina, and jumpingability in hunting.
an animal, as a dog, trained to hunt game.
( initial capital letter ) Astronomy . the constellation Orion.
Hunter as defined by dictionary.com. At the beginning of the 2012 archery season, I felt like I had the proverbial monkey on my back. Two years of chasing whitetails with a bow and arrow, and I had yet to seal the deal on anything (besides a turkey one spring). I had fallen prey to the horrible green monster after seeing several people who I knew were not good shooters (their animals showed this), and had not been hunting near as many years as I have who were able to put a whitetail on the ground. I was frustrated, tired, and fed up. When would it be my turn to actually become a bow hunter?
Then came the roller coaster of emotions (read about that in long form here). Let me tell you the roller coaster of emotions were ugly. I was so excited when I made the shot. Then I was so hopeless when we couldn't find any sign besides my arrow that came out the entry hole, and never made full penetration. Then there was the renewed hope of good blood where my deer had laid down. Then there was the anger, frustration, and ultimate pity party after nine hours of searching for the buck. There was the ultimate let down, hopeless, and dejected feelings of leaving and not finding him. Then there were the overly excited giggles at work when my iPhone started receiving pictures that he had been found and recovered.
During that 48 hours of emotions, I was able to process through my feelings. Killing an animal has never made me more of a hunter or less of a hunter. I've had years in the stand, tons of successful hunts without actually killing an animal. Sure I feel more successful when I can put meat in the freezer, but for me hunting is about being in the moment. The entire process of my 2012 archery buck was a lesson from up above for me, that hunting isn't about the kill. It's about the journey, the moments, and enjoying your time spent in the woods.
In the hunting world currently there are so many TV hunters who don't shoot a decent 140 class deer, they instead hold out for the 170 -200 class monster, that most of us every day hunters will never see. I think that begins to cloud most hunter's judgement on what a good deer is. Those shows clouded my judgement into thinking that I wasn't a good hunter because I couldn't put a deer on the ground. My question to each of you reading, if you hunt, is what defines you as a hunter? I learned what defines me as a hunter this season, and I learned it's something we all need to take a hard look at and think through.