In this article, Author Elizabeth Brownell shares some lessons learned of her first experiences as a new hunter. Elizabeth is a perfect example of how we can always learn and try new things by getting out of our comfort zones. You can expect more content from Elizabeth coming soon on the Hunt Lift Eat blog and you can check out Elizabeth on her Instagram and TikTok @rookie_hunting. If you'd like to hear more about Elizabeth and her story of creating "Rookie Hunting," she appeared on the Hunt Lift Eat podcast back on episode #87.
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We're all just bags of meat. If you grew up hunting from a young age you probably already knew this. For me, this was kind of a shocking epiphany. I didn’t come to this realization until I was 24 years old, on my knees in the woods with my forearms deep in a button buck that my buddy had shot with a crossbow 30 minutes prior.
That was my first time ever doing anything like that. Prior to, I thought I would be crying the entire time. And although I will admit that I may have shut my eyes when he actually went to pull the trigger, I didn’t shed a tear that whole day. In fact, it was one of the most interesting things I had ever witnessed or been a part of. There were many takeaways from that morning but these are a couple that blew my mind.
- We’re all just bags of meat
Obviously I had never killed an animal (or person) for that matter. It wasn’t until processing animals during the hunting season became a regular occurrence that I was able to make the bizarre connection that we’re identical to animals in that matter. Just bags of meat containing organs and pumping blood. If you’re familiar with the Hunger Games films by Suzanne Collins, it kind of reminds me of the scene where Gale says, “How different can it be, really?” when Katniss says she doesn’t know how to kill people, only animals.
- Rigor what??
Again, I had never seen a dead animal or person before. I had never even heard of rigor mortis which is defined as, “The stiffening of joints and muscles of a body a few hours after death.” I was just confused about why a seemingly normal dead animal was now stiffer than a 2x4 when I went to get it out of the back of the pickup. Apparently that’s a thing, who knew?
- Blood is hot
Remember that picture I painted previously about being forearms deep in a freshly killed button buck? That was also a striking revelation for me, to the point I almost recoiled my hands when I went to pull the organs out. I was completely shocked. It wasn’t just warm, it was piping hot on that crisp October morning. Now every time I go to gut an animal I kind of just chuckle at myself and my initial shock from that first time.
This is why I started the account “Rookie Hunting," because all of this is completely foreign territory for me. Although I can recognize that I have come a long way from 2020, I’m still constantly learning new things. Being able to laugh at yourself along the way is just part of the process. But getting out of my comfort zone? Absolutely worth it.