A Deer Hunting Yogini?


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Almost six years ago now, I interviewed a guy named Jackson Landers for a story about invasive species for Virginia Living magazine. He was promoting his second book, Eating Aliens, and we had a great time sloshing around Totier Creek pulling out invasive Chinese mystery snails and fishing for snakeheads in the Potomac while I was researching the story. But last summer I became more intrigued with Landers’ first book, The Beginners Guide to Deer Hunting for Food, a fairly comprehensive deer hunting guide for adult beginner deer hunters. I wanted to cross a few personal boundaries and see what would happen if I went deer hunting.

This may not sound odd unless you know me.

Though I enjoy the outdoors I am not usually thought of as the hunter type. In fact I have been guilty of turning my liberal, urbanite nose up at fishing and hunting as red-neck activities and therefore unworthy of my time. Stereotypical images of  PBR-guzzling, burly men with thick Southern accents, toting guns and sitting in the cold woods for hours scratching themselves waiting to bag a buck to add more antler decor to their walls is all I conjured when the subject of deer hunting came up – not my typical choice for company. Most people know me as an arts and culture lover who is perfectly happy being a few steps away from the source of her food.

And then there is the whole yoga thing.

I am a practicing yogini who also teaches yoga as part of my living. People have told me that I am not a real yogi because I eat meat. Imagine how far off the path they would think I was after engaging in the violent act of killing a sentient being?

Since I started this particular blog while testing my metal living in a log cabin, it seemed the appropriate place to write about my foray into a rather rustic world I had previously snubbed. This whole process of wanting to and learning to hunt deer is about a lot of things for me but at the core it is about touching base with with my most powerful primal self. I want to answer the question- can I do it? Meaning: Do I have the wherewithal to actually shoot and kill a big beautiful living creature? What personal metamorphosis might happen along the way? How will other people perceive the concept of a gun toting, meat eating, animal killing yogini?

A solid nine months have passed since I got the notion that I wanted to do this,so there will be some backstory forthcoming. Because preparations for the fall hunting season are starting already, there will more timely posts interspersed with the backstories.

Hopefully you will enjoy the journey and perhaps learn somethings along the way.

I want to give full credit to Landers for inspiring me to take up the challenge of deer hunting. It was through chatting with him that the process of turning my brain 180 degrees on the subject  began. He has been generous with his time and knowledge as will be noted if future posts.

Tomorrow my new deer hunting mentor, Larry, and I are going out to a farm in Keswick to scout for good hunting spots. More on that in a day or two.


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