How a Hunter Changed My Mind

June 3, 2011
Opening your eyes to a new point of view requires willingness to listen and to see things from another person’s perspective.


Brief Note: Have you been checking out the Love Your Life Summit? It formally started yesterday and there is still time to view excellent interviews with some people who know a lot about becoming successful in adding love into your daily life.


On Saturday we returned from ten days in Montana to celebrate the wedding of our oldest grandson and now I want to share an experience from that trip in a different way than I usually do. I’m turning the illustration of the picture I took into a puzzle.

When you click on the arrow, it will take you to the Jigzone website, where you can solve it easily, since I have chosen the 20-piece classic cut. Or you can make it more difficult by going up to 247 piece triangles, in which case you are either super smart or have way too much time on your hands.

By the way, can you tell if this is a typical, semi-irregular, or irregular elk? Do you even know what those terms mean?  (The answer is at the end.)
Click to Mix and Solve

The picture was taken at the Elk Foundation exhibit in Missoula, Montana, last Saturday. We had a couple hours to kill before needing to return the rental car and catch our plane. So one of the places we decided to see was the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation exhibit.

It was a most interesting experience for me that began when we started to see a short film on elk. We had expected a typical nature movie about the life of elk, how long they live, their habits, etc. Instead, it extolled the value of hunting these majestic animals. Since I’m not a hunting enthusiast, I was put off by the movie and walked out to the lobby, where I got into a conversation with a hunter.

What he said completely changed my perspective. He spoke of the majesty of the animals and how hunting is needed to cull the herds and keep them healthy. With too many elk, their range becomes unsustainable. It is necessary to kill some of them in some way.

Also, as I thought about it, I’ve had venison, which is quite good tasting, and decided that perhaps this is a more authentic approach to eating meat. Buying a roast at the grocery store is a sanitized approach. We don’t see the slaughterhouse. We don’t see the steer being killed. With hunting for food, the hunter is intimately involved in putting meat on the table.

Of course, I am opposed to the useless slaughter of animals just for fun, which I realize is one reason many people are against hunting. But now I realize that keeping the environment healthy for animals is a reasonable approach to wildlife and habitat conservation.

What experience have you had in which a casual encounter with a stranger caused you to change your mind?

ANSWER: The more symmetrical an elks antlers are, the more regular he is.

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