We Are Killers
It’s not in what you say anymore, is it? It’s all in how you say it.
— Mr. Parker, Way of the Gun

Harvest… Used by hunters, this word has bothered me from the first time I heard it, but I never took the time to really consider why.

“Hey Fred, did you harvest a deer this year?”

“Uhh… Fuck no. My deer combine was broken down. So I went out there with my bow and killed one. Isn’t that what you’re asking? Did I kill a deer?”

I follow Cam Hanes. What can I say? The guy is a beast and he inspires others (me included) to be a better person. Occasionally some anti-hunter antagonizes him on social media. Cam posts the negative comments aimed at hunters for his followers to see. Then the legions come to his war cry and unleash hell on the thoughtless soul that thought they could make hunters guilty for what we are.

We are killers.

The comments pour out, sometimes filled with hate and malice from hunters that are having a bad day, some are thoughtful and try to help the individual understand our side. But one topic is universally brought up.

“Do you eat meat? Do you have a pet that does? Do you wear products produced by animals?”

All valid questions. The answer is often that they in fact do eat meat or have a pet that does, but they aren’t murdering innocent animals like us neanderthals.

I hear your chuckles now. A ludicrous response that we all know is all so prevalent due to the distancing the packaging provides and the fact they never see the blood they are paying for.

This isn’t some new revelation, I think it’s been beaten into the ground by now. They hide behind their cash and plead innocence.

But we can’t say that the pressure isn’t working. They are changing the way we speak and therefore how we act. Semantics right?

We tone it down in hopes of slipping by the opposition unnoticed. We’re not killing anything after all, just merely harvesting them. As if you water them a little, hose it down with pesticides and wait for the sun to do its job. Bam! up sprouts a perfect elk backstrap.

If it were only that easy. We who still have that primal urge know what it takes to fill that freezer. We know what actions are necessary. We know exactly what we are doing and we know something has to die to make that something happen.

By hiding behind tamed words we are unknowingly admitting that what we are doing is wrong. We are admitting that we feel so guilty that we are not even able to say and therefore admit what we are really doing.

Don’t call it what it really is, but instead compare it to how we secure our vegetables. The lie is just more digestible. If we don’t call it killing then they can look the other way right? We cannot feel guilty about what they tell us we should feel guilty for.

Well I’m a killer. I don’t pay others to do it for me and I’m not going to dull it down to make it easy for those who enlist mercenaries to do it for them. When I hear the death cries of an elk or deer I know what I’ve done and I don’t always like it.

There is a certain weight that killing another being carries and I am fully aware of it. I respect it, I know that it was my decision to make and I made it. This animal is not my enemy, it did nothing to deserve what I did to it, but I knowingly took its life to feed mine. And most of all, it deserves the respect of me knowing what I did to it. They mean to much to me not too.

I know what I am, I’m a killer.

// Fred Bohm