Tag Archives: rite of passage

Buck Fever

Deer hunters call this “glassing”

I have a mysterious new fascination with deer hunting.

I don’t know why I’ve been thinking about this.  It may be related to a book on raising boys I read about six months ago.  The author talked about rites of passage for adolescent boys.  In his social circle, hunting was one such rite.  Boys on the cusp of adulthood were invited to the hunting camp to mingle with the experienced men and learn about manly things.  My son is almost 14.

Jews have the bar mitzvah.  The rest of us in Western societies don’t have much in the way of a rite of passage for adolescent boys (“young bucks”).  The scarification practiced by some West African tribes is not what I had in mind.  I guess we’ve decided as a culture that adolescent rites of passages aren’t needed any more.  I’m not so sure.

I bet hunter-gatherer societies have rites of passage.

Perhaps my son’s path to Eagle scout will be his rite of passage.  Or maybe it’ll be a deer hunt.


PS: I’ve never killed a deer, nor even shot at one.  I went on a deer hunt as a yoot but no one in the party got lucky.  I’ve never even fired a rifle more powerful than a .22.