A Hunting We Will Go

My Father started taking me hunting with him when I was five years old. Cray old coot. I have four boys myself now and I can't imagine taking any of them into the woods with me when they were five. But he did.

We weren't crazy obsessed hunters. We were casual, have-fun, serious, respect nature hunters who often went with our cousins and Uncles - who were crazy obsessed hunters.

It was miserable. Cold. Wet. Tiring. And incredible. My Father and I spent some great times together in those trips, hours and hours and hours of saying nothing, sitting in wet grass, peeing on trees, eating ham and potato soup, and watching my cousins drink beer. And then go back out into the woods with weapons.  An attitude, with them and in the general population, that would eventually destroy the fun for us. We were shot at a few times by drunken hunters and once, I was actually shot by a hunter. (I wasn't seriously injured, it was rabbit shot and went thru a pretty thick thicket and I happened to be seriously bundled against the cold.)

I think of those days when I think of low sec and the Pirate life I've chosen. Because they share many of the same aspects. Eve is a hard universe and within that universe there is no harder life than that of a pirate. ( Don't even try to argue that point. Total respect to those that live in Wormholes, which is close, but the isk tips the scale.) I'm not complaining, in fact I suspect most pirates revel in it. Much as we did at 3 am in the morning when it was below zero and my snoot froze in my nose.

There are much easier ways to make a living and certainly many easier ways to participate in PvP within Eve. But the hardship isn't the story. The sec status, lack of isk making, general contempt of the lifestyle, the tears, the ransoms, the skull-duggery, those are not the story. Just like in those hunting days, the killing of an animal ( which you will be happy to know, my Father and I sucked at that part.) isn't the story. The true story is the time spent together, the bonding, the camaraderie, and most importantly the HUNT.

The hunt. The hunt is what is missing from the gate campers, the station campers, the snipers, the bubble waiters, and all the other forms of lazy combat that Eve seems to promote. Oh sure, there are times when we all have to do it, or when we have no other choice. I relate it to one crazy Uncle of mine, who never went with us on our trips because he would drive into the woods and shine a very bright light into a Deer's face. He had one of those large lights on the side of his truck, you've seen them. That is lazy hunting. And it ain't hunting at all.

My favorite times in Eve have been on the hunt. Alone or with my friends. Ultimately it is the search for those moments that drives me to log in, to put up with the hardships of Pirating, the problems with logistics, the sec status, the lack of isk making, the whining about low sec, it is the possibility of the hunt. Superior skill against a worthy opponent. Beating a human being on the other side of the virtual divide. It isn't about conquering a computer, or an AI string of code, but about the most dangerous prey in the world, another person.

The hunt is what brings me back to Eve. It isn't easy. It may even be dying out, but it is still out there, waiting, haunting, mocking, and despite the challenges, the blobs, the camps and the lag, I'll keep looking for it.

Cause I am the hunter.

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