Wherever you live, are you self-sufficient enough that you know how to grow and hunt for your own food? Have you ever thought about learning those skills for a New Year’s resolution?
I just spent the past two weeks in Africa on an amazing trip where I did some hunting for the first time in the Kalahari Desert. It was a catalyzing trip that made me determined to learn those basic survival skills — for my personal and spiritual growth. It is essential that as conservatives we know how to be truly independent.
What My Cat Taught Me About Nature And Humanity
I actually first started thinking about this concept when my husband and I moved our family to Tennessee. I had a cat then who was used to living in New York City and other areas of the Northeast. Prior to moving south, she was an indoor cat.
Yet, when we moved to Tennessee, she changed. She wanted to go outside. Perhaps it was seeing the rolling hills and fresh air, but her personality changed. She used to be terrified of everything, but then she became fearless. She’d explore more and more each day, so much so it was a headache keeping track of her.
One night, she was killed on the back porch. It was irresponsible of us, but we accidentally forgot to check to make sure she was inside before locking. A coyote killed her that night and it was truly devastating.
Yet, before she died, perhaps she was truly happy because she was reawakening her true nature, she was leaning into being an animal by being outside. She was just learning the real world.
Why Hunting And Self-Survival Is Essential
We can learn a lesson from this: We need to lean more into our humanity by moving away from the screens, fast food, and dependency on the government so that we can learn how to survive.
In recent years, I have become obsessed with gardening so that I can know how to grow my own food. Next, I wanted chickens.
Recently, I started to think I wanted to learn how to hunt. Until recently, I had never been a fan of the sport. It was almost foreign to me how anybody could kill a defenseless animal. I thought “trophy hunting” was horrific.
In hindsight, I knew absolutely nothing about it at all.
It wasn’t until a conversation with the wonderful Donald Trump Jr. that I began to see it in a different light. He explained to me why the number one animal conservationists in the world are hunters.
As Trump Jr. explained it, big hunts, especially in countries in Africa, are often done to either protect villages from being eaten by wild animals to protect endangered animals from being killed by overpopulated predators and to help guard against poachers. An entire industry is born out of those needs and in turn, provides jobs for locals in these areas.
Those who lead the hunt are often paid handsome money to kill the beast and it serves a necessary purpose — these hunts aren’t done for the gruesome cruelty of just killing an animal. The meat from these hunts is used in turn to feed villagers previously terrified.
My First Gemsbok Kill
Since that conversation, I wanted to go on one of these hunts and I finally did.
It was incredible. You can listen to a full description of it in today’s podcast.
Led by a tracker, my husband and I went on an exhilarating hunt where I learned more about survival than I ever could have dreamed.
On the hunt for Gemsbok, I learned how in the wild — every single element around you is a predator.
Wind can be a predator — it picks up your scent and notifies an animal targeting you, or a creature you are trying to kill, that you’re nearby, thus either putting you in danger of either losing the kill or being killed.
The sun is your enemy — you have to complete your mission before it goes down and nightfall comes. Your terrain can hold you back — where I was literally. The bush was so thick, with so many thorns, that if you weren’t careful you would get caught in it. Other animals trying to survive themselves can view you as a threat — and try to kill you.
That day on the hunt, I remember feeling so alive despite gasping for breath. For an hour and a half, my husband, the tracker, and I sprinted and stopped. I laughed thinking about my morning treadmills which prepared me so little for this.
Yet, I also thought of that cat. This must have been what she felt like experiencing nature for the first time. God didn’t make our bodies for treadmills, he gave us the ability to run so that we can provide food for our families and escape danger when needed.
Finally, after darting and diving for ninety minutes, I saw her in the distance. I just knew that I was going to get that Gemsbok. I saw her horns first, actually, and she was about 250 meters away. The tracker and my husband stopped and they set up the rifle on the rifle stand. The tracker asked me to look through the scope, and I confirmed that I could see her.
And he whispered, “You just want to calm down. You know this is the part where people lose it. It’s a very long shot. Just take a deep breath. Don’t be nervous, it’s going to be fine.”
At that moment, I wasn’t nervous. I felt so calm and sure of myself.
I took a breath, fired the gun, and killed the animal directly in the heart. In the photo taken right after, I am standing there next to the deceased Gemsbok, smiling.
A Spiritual And Personal Moment Of Growth
Prior to this day, I always remember seeing similar photos and wondering how individuals could gloat over the killing of a living creature.
But, that day I realized that it wasn’t about holding up a “trophy” at all. The entire experience provided me with tremendous respect for life and for death.
I was smiling because I realized that I had reached another level in my own development. That Gemsbok was going to be used to help feed those in need. It was the first time I provided food for another human by killing it myself. It was a spiritual moment — God wants us to have dominion over nature while being stewards of the earth.
So I realize that this has been my New Year’s resolution for several years now. I want to become truly “native” — to know how to survive where I live, while battling physical, animal, and other natural elements.
When things get bad, you are going to have to know how to survive. Food in grocery stores won’t always be there. Your government won’t always be able to provide for you.
The best way to protect yourself is to practice true self-governance — and learn the skills needed to cultivate fruits and vegetables that can grow in your habitat while knowing how to hunt should you ever truly need to depend on it.