"Civilization is merely a veneer, a thin skinned polish over the savage and crude nature. Fear, anger, lust, the three great primal instincts are restrained, but they live powerfully in the breast of man."
"Stealing through the forest or along the mountain slope, eyes roving, ears sensitive to all vibrations of the air, nose as keen as that of a hound, hands tight on a deadly rifle, we unconsciously go back. We go back to the primitive, to the savage state of man. Therein lies the joy. How sweet, vague, unreal those sensations of strange familiarity with wild places we know we never saw before! But a million years before that hour a hairy ancestor of ours felt the same way in the same kind of a place, and in us that instinct survives. That is the secret of the wonderful strange charm of wild places, of the barren rocks of the desert wilderness, of the great-walled lonely canyons. Something now in our blood, in our bones once dances in men who lived then in similar place. And lived by hunting!"
"When the man goes into the wilderness to change into a hunter that surviving kinship with the savage revives in his being, and all unconsciously dominates him with driving passion. Passion it is because for long he has been restrained in the public haunts of men. His real nature has been hidden. The hunting of game inhibits his thoughts, He feels only. He forgets himself. He sees the track, he hears the stealthy step, he smells the wild scent; and his blood dances with the dance of the ages. Then he is a killer, The ages roll back. Then he is a brother to the savage. Then all unconsciously he lives the chase, the fight, the death-dealing moment as they were lived by all his ancestors down through the misty past."
Some work cannot be improved upon, nor should it be. If anything is true about 21st century man it is that he seems driven to continually strive to improve upon someone else's work, idea, or invention. I know this because I have done this more times than I can count. However as I sit here contemplating the peace that comes from the silence brought on by six inches of fresh snow outside of my window, I find myself in one of those contemplative reflective moods. Thinking back over the past 40 years of my life, much of which has been spent in one wilderness or another in pursuit of game, I have to ask, where did this desire to hunt come from. From my father and his father before him? Or does this passion within me to chase wild game across wild places come from a far more distant source. The three quotes (above) are notes the author Zane Grey penned around 1919 either during or following an extended hunt for bear in Arizona. I just cannot improve one word....if these strike a chord in your heart too...welcome to the brotherhood of the hunter.