Do you kiss the elk ivory you keep in your pocket before every hunt? Do you rub the antlers of your last successful bull together for good luck? For men, do you stop shaving at the beginning of hunting season, and only shave after your first kill? Maybe after every successful hunt, you take a swig of blackberry brandy? Hunting traditions are a big part of the whole hunting experience for many hunters.
Jason Flemmer, a Montana native living in Missoula, has been hunting for the last decade and has had some successful hunts and some not-so-successful hunts. “I don’t have anything in particular that I do before a hunt, but I know of a guy who carves a notch in his rifle for every animal he gets. He is up to 30 something now”, said Jason. Some believe that Jason’s success could be increased by incorporating “good luck rituals” into his hunts. Others give all success credit to skill and patience.
Superstitions are very important to the hunters who believe in them. Whether or not these rituals are the reasons they have successful hunts is debatable. But to these hunters, it just wouldn’t be hunting without them.