There is no deeper gratitude than that felt by hunters for their prey. This truth has held since the very first hunter knelt beside their harvest. The instinct to use the bountiful provision around us creates a profound connection with all living things. The cycle of life and death requires gratitude and sacrifice. No one understands this more thoroughly than the hunter. Mother Nature does not yield her harvest eagerly; it is a reward that must be earned. We approach her with humility and reverence, fully aware of the price she demands. The knowledge that death begets life is sobering, and even more so when you contemplate playing an active role in that cycle. Taking life to perpetuate life is a heavy responsibility, but one we gladly bear. When this concept transforms from the abstract, to the feeling of warm blood running cold in your hand, the weight of that sacrifice can feel crushing. Then, as you slice meat from bone, and hold your family’s next meal in your hands, you truly know what it means to be grateful.