For years Jim Shocky has been one of my favorite celebrity hunters. He is a voice of reason and a stand-up guy and if you do not follow him on social media you should because he lays down threads of hunting wisdom that are just pure gold.
A few weeks back took to the interwebs to discuss hunting photographs and what they mean and posted a picture of his latest bull moose. Here is what he wrote.
There will be some of you who don’t “get” what this photo represents. So everyone else, please bear with me while I explain to those who don’t understand but who have open minds and want to “see.” First off, this photo is not about “ego” and no, I’m not bragging, but in spite of what the close-minded, intolerant, and stereotyping bigots would have you believe, I do not have a small…u-know-what!
No, this photo has zero to do with any of those infantile accusations. This photo simply represents a cherished memory of an event. An event that saw me pay respect and be an active participant to that ancient and undeniable reality, the truth that life begets death, begets life, begets death, begets life. An event that pays respect to a “Field to Table” lifestyle that I and my antecedents live and lived by.
An event that, even if it is largely symbolic in your eyes, represents a “providing” for family and friends. An event that literally means hundreds of pounds of pure, organic “green” meat for those family and friends. And no offence or judgement intended here, but the meat from this moose is not to be confused with the cellophane “meat” you purchase from a store. An event that will see the hide of this magnificent animal turned into brained-tanned leather and hand-sewn traditional garments.
An event that I have chosen to share with you and those of you who already “get” what this photo means. And finally, this photo, this “event,” at its essence, is the snapshot of a spiritual moment, a ritual shared with all those who “understand” and a ceremonial touching of an ancestral soul all of us possess deep inside…but few can access. Hopefully, that all makes sense to you.
If not, then either I did a poor job of explaining…or you aren’t quite the open-minded, tolerant or “seeing” person you thought you were and should probably stop following me. I promise I will not be offended and sincerely hope you find a “truth” that fits your ideological narrative.
Now for the rest of you! This Yukon bull was the largest bodied and antlered moose I have ever taken! I used my Christiansen Arms 300 PRC, loaded with 214 Hornady bullets! My scope was a Leupold VX-6, and the shot was 230 yards!
The bull just rubbed off the velvet and actually answered my bull grunt. I almost didn’t take the shot, I thought it was too young, too small. I was wrong!! We will be eating like kings this coming winter!
Now it seems someone we will call Tim Bates either did not read the post or did not understand it because he felt the need to interject his own interpretations of Mr. Shockey’s intentions.
I hate to post a negative comment….. but a moose that size usually don’t make very good table fair. May as well go shoot an old lion in Africa for the trophy status pictures
Jim replied to his comment personally and in the most polite way possible pretty much owned him.
Tim Bates This will be a long one. Yep, I’m with you on your “negative comments” comment, but I don’t “hate” negativity, I just feel there is way too much of it around these days. That all said, you did go ahead and post your negative comment and compared my moose to eating an “ old lion” from Africa. Plus you implied that this photo of my moose was just for “trophy status” purposes. So, let’s see if we can’t set the record straight! First off, not sure what you based your opinion on, but I sincerely doubt you have eaten African lion. I have. And I can assure you that while African lion is certainly edible, my moose is far better eating AND there is a LOT more of it to eat! Second, my family has been eating moose of all sizes and shapes for decades, and I have found from 60 years of personal moose eating experience, that when any moose is prepared properly in the field and back at home, one “size” moose is not better than any other size. Oh, and did I mention that bigger moose provide more meat for the freezer?FYI, The rut had not started yet and this moose had four inches of fat on his back quarters. Every cut of meat is delicious and tender! The barbecued ribs are world-class! Now for your comment implying that this photo of my moose is only about “trophy” taking…maybe you never bothered to read my original comment?? Please take a few moments and carefully read what I wrote.
Tim did reply and posted some photos showing that he is a hunter and basically that he hunts for meat and that he does not wait for big antlers. Which of course is perfectly fine. Jim shooting a large moose takes nothing away from you or your freedom to do that.
Hunters need to stick together and end this needless infighting. This is part of the reason I wrote my book Why We Hunt. It explains that we all have different motivations that drive us outdoors and that if we understood each other better we would be more untied and that would help ensure the future of hunting.