I never imagined I would hunt. I had never been exposed to the world of hunting and I firmly believed that, as a meat eater, if I were to kill an animal for its meat I would swiftly become a vegetarian. Being aware of our ever increasing distance from nature, and that buying our meat from a store meant never having to think about where it had come from, or the people who were responsible for bringing it to us. I decided that if I was to continue to eat meat, I should be able to source the meat myself, ethically and with the purpose of using as much of the animal as I could. I joined the New Zealand Hunting and Fishing Forum and wrote a post asking if anyone would be kind enough to take me on a hunt. I was overwhelmed with the most generous responses and a friend and I travelled to meet one of the hunters. We walked for about 8 hours through the bush, tracking deer. The hunter pointed out scrapes and sometimes spotted deer in the distance, which I could not see at all. I heard a deer roar for the first time in my life, it was magical. When the chance came and I was handed the gun, a deer 140 metres away, my stomach lurched. Was I actually going to kill an animal, who was completely unaware of us standing there, contemplating it's death? I pulled the trigger.
We butchered the meat ourselves and packaged it up. I shared it with family and friends and the deer skin hangs on my couch. I will never forget this experience; the eight hour stalk was a lot more involved than a stroll down a supermarket aisle. What I learnt was what it truly means to provide and how much you can learn from stepping out of your comfort zone.
For the sensitive amongst us, documentary hunting photos below