Jostein took me out on a hunt yesterday evening.  When I got to his house, he immediately fished out of his extensive hunting wardrobe appropriate clothes to keep me warm and dry.  I kind of protested at being told to wear waterproofs that were three sizes too big.  But it was a silly thing to do in hindsight.

We walked across the fields to one of his favorite hunting spots and started a stakeout.  During our walk Jostein explained to me the nature of the hunt, animal behaviour and how the night would proceed.   He also told me in detail his family’s connection with hunting, with the surrounding nature and what it meant for him.  There were a lot of simple truths in what he had to say and it was difficult for me to disagree.

The moment we settled down in our hideout, it began to rain.  We sat on the spot for two and a half hours, motion less, barely breathing.  Jostein had instructed me on certain rules, the most important being no sudden movements and if possible no movements at all.  He was looking out on the right; I was to keep an eye out on an open patch of field grass to the left.  So we waited, and the darkness came, the rain continued and the temperature began to fall.

The light was deep blue/grey, the constant fall of the rain was kind of soothing and there was no breeze.  It was getting dark rapidly and there was no sign of deer.

After about two hours Jostein spotted a small herd but they were too far and it was too dark.  We watched them for about half an hour, and made a decision to head back home.   This was the perfect decision as far as I was concerned.  Even though I had agreed to go on a hunt and to stay for the slaughter and the clean up, I was not prepared to see an animal die so that I could make a few interesting pictures.  But that night I experienced something quite special.

Jostein is the kind of a person who kills because he has a deep connection with nature and the animals around him.  He is acutely aware of his actions.  He is not a trophy hunter.