Tuesday, 17 October 2000

Random Shifts

By Trevor Joyce.

The hunt, with its frequent shifts and switches, its random* and idiosyncratic animal movements, its diverging multiple paths, opposes quantification, logic, stillness. Only through specifics is it worth. Consider that the best scent is that which is occasioned by the effluvia, or particles of scent, which are constantly perspiring from the desiderata as it flees, and are strongest and most favorable to the pursuant pack, when kept by the gravity of the air to the height of the breast; for then it neither is above their reach, nor is it necessary they should stoop for it. At such times, scent is said to lie at the heart, and is convenient. But this is only a slight part, for the chase comprises three distinct elements: the practical reason of the hunter, the instinct of the quarry, and the trap. We do not measure here our success in terms of truth, but in blood and experience.

* Randonnée: hunting term; the name of the course that hunters take in pursuit of their game

No comments: