The morning was cold. Fresh snow of the night before made a dull crunching sound as a pair of feet sank into the deep drifts. His hot heavy breath made white and clear by the coldness of the air as he exhaled into the little bit of light that was out while the sun awoke from behind the horizon of the spruce covered mountains. His rifle slung on shoulder and his spotting scope in hand he stopped every few feet to scan the tree line for any signs of movement; the wind picked up from behind him, quickly he squatted to his knees in the snow to try and minimize the strength of the scent that was now blowing up wind. Then a sound rang throughout the mountain side, a sound that made his very core shake with excitement and anxiety, a sound that he had long to hear since he was a child when he heard it last. The call of a bull Elk, a call that was clear and strong, a call that gave no misinterpretations of its meaning, a call meant to let every creature in his territory know that he was present and willing to defend his right to it.
He dropped to the ground though he was sitting chest deep in the snow, pulling his scope up to his eye and scanning for the source of the call. Just below an opening in the forest half way up a mountain side about 400 yards from him was a grand specimen of a bull, standing proud in the morning haze. He could see the heat of creature in its breath as he could his own even from this distance, he hastily widen the hole in which he was seated while he removed his rifle and backpack. Laying the pack on the surface of the snow and the rifle on top of it he adjusted himself and the rifle until he had a clear view of the Elk. Again and again it bellowed its’ high pitched bugle across the range echoing off into the distance. Slowly breathing and focusing on the target, his heart beginning to the reach a steady beat that was rhythmic in pace. He inhaled deeply then letting half of it out while holding the rest he place the cross hairs firmly on the side of his targets chest and waiting until all the factors were correct for the shot, he applied presser as evenly as possible to the trigger until the gun fired with a loud crack that rang throughout the mountain tops. The Elk shook as the bullet pierced his side, he staggered in his footsteps for what felt like an eternity to the hunter, when he was too weak to stand he bowed his head to the ground and then lowering himself over to his side he quietly excepted his fate and laid down to close his eyes for the last time.
When the hunter reached his kill he knelt down and thanked the Elk for giving its life so that he may feed his family and provide the nourishment to make it through this harsh cold. For the killing of an animal in the pursuit of food is sacred and no one should ever take it for granted this is a concept by which all men can and should live.