MINNEAPOLIS - Attempts to get a handle on the many ways and the speed at which the world is changing is a bit like trying to grab smoke: You can see it, but you can't quite get hold of it.
So it is also with hunting.
In some quarters, the world's oldest "sport" is immutable, providing as it always has opportunities for individuals to immerse themselves in oftentimes physically demanding natural environments while employing a wide range of skills that lead to unpredictable but ultimately self-satisfying conclusions.
In psychobabble terms, hunting (though not only hunting) offers its participants unique, multidimensional opportunities to "self-actualize," meaning (the Cliff's Notes version here) chances to leverage their creative and other abilities to their full potential measured by internal goals and achievements, rather than by external motivators such as money or professional or societal prestige.
So it was the other day when our older son, Trevor, called after returning to his home from a mountain goat hunt in the Rockies. A friend of his had drawn a hard-to-get permit, and Trevor had hiked into a makeshift, high-altitude camp to help as necessary.
"It was epic," Trevor reported, recalling the challenging conditions (snowy), equipment used (Seek Outside backpacking tipi with titanium stove) and outcome (a billy shot on a cliff and successfully recovered and packed out).
Such illustrations notwithstanding, it's also true hunting is nothing like its former self.
Participation, for example, has declined because of changing societal demographics (single-parent families are common), time constraints (work, school and team sports can be all-consuming) and fewer opportunities (urban hunters are challenged to find rural places to hunt).
Into this confounding matrix of long-standing-tradition-strives-for-modern-day-relevance marches Mark Norquist, confidently.
The founder of a website/digital platform called Modern Carnivore, Norquist is a marketing and media pro whose goal is to introduce non-hunters to hunting.