Adult Programs: West Pathway
The Sacred Hunt is a complete training philosophy in every aspect of primitive hunting. Designed to take students from point A to point B in one season. Point A being a basic understanding of hand tools and animal patterns, to point B being a completed self bow and matching arrows capable of harvesting big game, confidence in shot placement and execution, knowledge of preseason scouting practices, in depth training in tracking, trailing and harvesting and the ability to get within 10 ft of a whitetail deer, undetected. The Sacred Hunt is an incredibly challenging Pathway filled with exhilaration, reward, humility and no guarantees.
The Sacred Hunt 1 – 3 are a part of the Pathway Philosophy we teach at White Pine. The instructors in this course have been working on these skills for decades and intend to continue actively learning on this Pathway for the rest of their lives. As such, no intensive can take you to mastery without years of dedication. What we can accomplish, with any focused student, is get you past the most difficult beginner stage in each of the core disciplines required to harvest big game with primitive weapons.
Specifically, The Sacred Hunt 1-3 are a continuum of Bows, Arrows and Hunting, each course will have a primary and secondary focus allowing for review and steady growth.
As intimidating as these topics are, remember our DNA was forged in the fires of hunting, tracking, knapping and bow building. That DNA is in you. This is the same Pathway our ancestors have walked for millions of years.
For greater learning and collaboration Sacred Hunt 1 – 3 can be attended repeatedly. Having a mentor on this Path is incredibly helpful and can shave decades off of your learning curve. Leadership roles are offered to returning students. Advancements down this Pathway are not only individual, they are collective.
The Journey of The Hunt
The journey begins with the selection and harvest of a sapling and moves to splitting and preparing a stave. Next comes chasing a growth ring and preparing the back of the bow, then design principles and mapping the bow. Next comes Hatchet and rasp reduction moving to knife scraping, floor tillering, string construction, bracing, draw length and final tillering, then comes finishes and advanced techniques for improving cast.
Taking a break from bow building we move to arrowheads and the science of Flint knapping. Sapling selection of shafts, straightening and preparation lead us to find, sinew, glues and pitch. Next comes arrow spine, length and weight then matching these factors with draw weight.
With a hunting weight bow and arrows completed we move to the nuanced world of primitive archery.
As we discover our natural form with some gentle modifications we find that our Arrow groupings tighten and our range increases.
After archery comes the ancient art of tracking. Preseason scouting, trails and rubs are followed by ground blinds, tree sits, and camouflage of every sense.
Building deep ecological understanding through research, journaling and direct observation allows students to develop strategies for the pre-rut vs peak rut vs post and secondary ruts.
We’ll conclude with shot placement analysis, hair and blood analysis, trailing strategies, pressure releases and finally harvesting.
Essential to the technical instruction of these skills will be the inclusion of the roll that food played in traditional societies. The sacredness of each animal and plant, the songs that accompanied them and the practices, rituals and ceremonies used to cleanse and humble oneself. The sacred hunt is a life-changing endeavor.