Hunter poets | The art and philosophy of hunting and writing | June 20-23, 2019
Are you curious about the philosophy and hidden world of hunting? Do you have a desire to connect directly with your food and to learn the necessary skills to do so? Are you interested in honing your writing practice to share intimate experiences in nature?
This unique course offering is based on our signature four-day hunting course, which covers in-depth big game hunting training and education for those wanting to deepen the human-nature connection by awakening and honing the senses that arise during the hunt. For this one weekend in 2019, however, we’ve also invited award-winning adventure writer and international mountain guide Charlotte Austin to join the team of instructors. Designed for both new and returning guests, this course explores both hunting and writing to expand on our holistic philosophy: that these skills are both ways of spending time outside, honing our awareness, and connecting with the natural world.
At our private hunting ground in Kettle Falls, Washington, we’ll spend four days learning about both hunting and writing — and how each skill set compliments the other. Our experienced hunting instructors will teach the entire process: planning and prep, stalking and hunting, and field dressing and butchering. Not to be confused with a guided hunt or the pursuit of trophies, this process is a slow, thoughtful, hands-on immersion to establish the strongest bonds possible to the land and our ecosystem, at which point hunting becomes more an act of giving and receiving than of conquering and taking.
When we put down our rifles and bows, or after we finish processing an animal for our meals, we’ll pick up our pens. Charlotte will share hands-on writing instruction, which will include hunting-inspired prompts, constructive one-on-one feedback, tips for how to incorporate writing and journaling into your own trips, and a round-table discussion about formatting your stories to keep your reader’s attention. We’ll have a happy hour to share our favorite hunting literature, and if you’re interested in publishing, you’ll leave the weekend with the tools you need to pitch stories at a professional level. In short: whether you’re brand-new to writing or an already-established Hemingway, this instruction will help you hone your craft, record and reflect on your experiences, and deepen your connection to the natural world.
Limited to small groups, there will be very moderate classroom time with emphasis on hands-on, active learning. Whenever possible, we’ll deliver lessons outdoors. As both hunting and writing are specialized skills, there will be an emphasis on small group sessions and one-on-one feedback. (Read: even if you’ve attended a hunting course before, there will be ample opportunity to refine your skills.) Gourmet (paleo-based) meals are included and sleeping arrangements will be outdoor camping style with limited indoor facilities available. There are limited sleeping arrangements available in wall tents/cabins. Minimum recommended age is 18, (or 10 if accompanied by parent). We encourage parent/children teams so please talk to us if you’d like to bring a young hunter poet with you who is younger than 10.
This unique once-a-year offering shouldn’t be missed. Remaining involved with the instructors and community after the completion of the course is encouraged and facilitated as a resource to answer future questions (around both writing and hunting) and aid in the realization of successful outings. Anyone born after January 1, 1972 wishing to hunt in Washington is required by law to pass a WDFW hunter safety course, which typically fill up fast towards the end of summer. All participants from the year are eligible to join the instructors for a (limited capacity) planned group hunt in October.
As company founder Bruce McGlenn reflects, “Both hunting and writing are ways of tuning into our surroundings and expanding our awareness. Going deeper into both skills — and reflecting on how they compliment each other — helps push the boundaries of your skills as an outdoorsperson. I started a hunting journal when I was 10 and look back on it with fond memories.”
Course Fee: (sliding scale) $900-1400/adult, $400/accompanied child | Maximum Adults: 10
Registration Deposit: $500 (additional $300 per accompanied child) due six weeks prior to start of course to secure your spot. Total Course Fee due at the conclusion of the course.
Total Course Fee (and Financial Assistance): We offer sliding scales and varying packages to make the courses available to a more diverse group. Our goal is to create a quality experience and we ask for final payment at the end of the course to allow time for individuals to evaluate what the experience is personally worth. For some courses we offer a partial financial assistance to one participant per class. Please inquire for details (application for assistance due 2 months prior to course).
Included with Instruction: Gourmet meals prepared by a professional Danish chef (locally grown and wild food, breakfast, lunch & dinner - Thursday Lunch to Sunday Lunch), a small portion of lamb from the butchering (wrapped for your freezer), custom engraved Buck knife (for field dressing and boning - yours to keep), course materials, tools, and equipment, on-site camping (camping tents available on a limited basis, and upgraded accommodations available), guest speakers, lively dialogue, and access to online community of past participants, which is growing by the month.
Arrive by noon on the start date. Contact us about arriving the night before if that is more convenient.
(Emphasis on topics in BOLD)
• Ethics, safety, history & philosophy of the hunt
• Regulations, laws, seasons, cost of entry
• Where to hunt (maps & research); Public lands; Scouting
• Equipment essentials and options
• Hunting strategies and approaches
• Tracking, scouting, reading sign
• Simulated Hunts
• Stalking, walking with awareness
• Wildlife identification and habitat
• Reading topographic maps, using a compass
Marksmanship & Firearms
• Shooting: small & large caliber shooting skills, ballistics, how to choose a rifle, reloading
• Shooting in the field: off-hand, kneeling, field conditions
• Archery shooting
• Muzzleloader basics
After the Shot
• Following a blood trail
• Ungulate/Ruminant anatomy lesson
• Field dressing a large animal (gutting, skinning, quartering)
• Field processing (quartering, boning out the carcass)
• Processing/Butchering (boning the quarters, identifying different cuts, grinding, wrapping for the freezer)
• Transporting game in the field
• Caring for the meat in the field and at home
• Setting up base camp, camp essentials
• Orienteering (map and compass)
• Foraging/wild edibles breakout session
• Fire building and knot tying breakout session
See FAQ's for general gear requirements. More information on suggested gear will be provided with Registration Confirmation