The evolution of hunters

Brad Allen emphasises that hunting is ingrained into us humans and will remain so for many years to come

Contrary to the ‘politically correct’, but ‘totally incorrect’ doctrine of vocal vegans and animal liberation factions, even in these modern times, man as a species is still a hunter, as we have been for eons.

The vast majority of us exhibit at least some of those hunter characteristics that come from deeply ingrained hunter instincts, which have been moulded over thousands of years of evolution.

The truth is, that it has only been over the past 200 or so years that Western humans have not had to hunt to live, a mere blink in time. As we continue to evolve in our modern world, scientists agree that humans will still exhibit these hunting traits for at least the next 5000 years. That’s something for the vegans to reflect upon.

These people choose to totally deny the origins of our species and our evolution, and the fact that human beings are omnivores. Yes, we are meant to eat meat as a source of protein.

Consequently, I’m in total agreement with the great Greek philosopher Aristotle who reportedly said: “Tolerance and apathy are the last virtues of a dying society.”

My mate’s wife is a small country town schoolteacher in South East Queensland. Recently he related a tale about a new, first-year teacher from Brisbane posted to his wife’s school. When she met her new class, she proudly announced to them all that she was a vegan. Well, these country kids saw her vegan status for what it really was and started to tease her about it at every opportunity. Consequently, within a few short weeks, she announced to her class that she was no longer a vegan and had begun to eat meat and go to country barbecues. I believe that veganism, like most new fad ideas, loses its appeal when everyone they tell doesn’t shower them with the accolades they seek. Enough said.

The undeniable urge to hunt is a biologically correct human behaviour, whether that be animals or fish (yes, fishing is also hunting).

It involves a great many humans, both male and female, and in recent times there has been an obvious and pleasing increase in the numbers of ladies participating in hunting and fishing. Make no mistake, once the ladies make up their minds to go hunting, they invariably do well at it. I have happily witnessed many instances of the ladies learning to shoot, donning the camo and heading bush, usually with their dads, but sometimes with their mums, to hunt.

A good mate of mine was born into a family that didn’t hunt. Consequently, there were no role models for him who hunted, or anyone in the family to possibly influence his behaviour or teach him to become a hunter. However, as a young boy growing up in a semi-rural area, he noticed that there were rabbits around and he developed an urge to hunt them. This he did by fashioning a spear (one of man’s oldest hunting tools) and he began stalking rabbits.

From all reports, he was unsuccessful in his quest, but this failure only strengthened his resolve to hunt those fluffy bunnies. As he grew older, he formed an interest in firearms and eventually taught himself to hunt and shoot, becoming a successful deer hunter and excelling at trophy hunting internationally.

Now in his 70s, he still has a healthy link to firearms and hunting in general. The only explanation as to how he evolved into a seasoned hunter, is that his ingrained push to hunt surfacing was nothing more than a human behaviour.

My father was a hunter, for meat, who supplemented the family protein supply with ducks and hares as there were no rabbits around our area in those days. I remember going hunting with him from the time I was about 4 years of age, and being present when he dressed those kills for our table. As I grew, my own desire to hunt increased dramatically.

Consequently, I developed a great love of firearms and knives and in my early teens, also embraced trophy hunting, fostered by my uncle who was a deer hunter.

From my earliest memories, the urge to hunt has always been there and it has only grown stronger over the intervening years. I have also tried and enjoyed bowhunting, but was only ever moderately successful, owing to the limited available time I had to practise.

I just can’t imagine my life without hunting, as the will to do so is still as strong now as ever. Accordingly, I continue to foster a deep interest in the instruments that I use to achieve my goals, especially firearms and knives.

My own sons all exhibit the hunter instinct, with a liking for bows, guns, knives and fishing equipment. Indeed, my youngest son Morgan and nephew Frank have even gravitated towards bowhunting as a ‘purer’ form of hunting.

To self-impose conditions on the hunt that clearly tip the scales in favour of the animal, demonstrates just how strong the drive to hunt can become. With the need to substantially close the distance to the prey over what can be achieved with a firearm, clearly to bowhunters the hunt is far more important than the kill. The fact is that Morgan and Frank are both excellent rifle shots and frequently hunt with their firearms, but given the opportunity, they opt to operate with the bow.

As I’ve stated earlier, it is not just firearms and bows that hunters have a liking for. Probably the most basic tool any hunter uses is the knife. I have a fondness for good knives. This fascination is also shared by my boys, who, like me, have many of them. From the time that Morgan was 12 years old, he was keen to make his own hunting implements. These meant bows and arrows to spears and hunting boomerangs (or Morg-a-rangs, as we called his) and eventually to knives.

YouTube can be a wonderful teacher and after watching hours of knifemaking videos, he eventually created his first knife from a suitable piece of carbon steel using a drill, hacksaw and file, then tempered the blade himself. He still has that knife, which holds pride of place in his collection.

Since that time, Morgan has made many great hunting knives, both to use and to sell, each new one a little better than the last. I am currently using one that he made for me, which quickly became my favourite hunting knife.

My eldest son Bill also makes good knives and excellent fishing lures as well. These behaviours and their desire to manufacture knives and other hunting items, I believe, are nothing more than the boys following their natural instincts.

I won’t be around in 5000 years to see if the scientists were right about the hunter impulse, but I do know that right here and right now, the hunter compulsion in humans remains strong, as it is a biologically correct behaviour and something that we should all be proud of.

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