man the hunter

From: Scott Chase (
Date: Thu 25 Mar 2004 - 05:50:15 GMT

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    I'm trying still to envision a solitary hunter dragging a half ton of meat (sensu Keith) back by himself to camp where his loafing tribal buddies wait around the fire. A male white-tailed deer can range from 150-310 lbs according to my _National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mammals_. That a far cry short of half a ton. I'm not sure what a 310 lb. deer weighs out to when the carcass is dressed for the meat alone. A moose can get up to 1400 lb. How much meat does a 1400 lb moose yield and can a single hunter drag either the moose carcass or a half ton of moose meat over rough terrain for relatively long distances? Modern hunters have rifles with scopes or high tech bows and arrows. What could a primitive hunter do against large prey with low tech weapons by themselves.

    For a solitary hunter in a primitive society to take down an animal or several animals by himself which yield altogether a half ton of meat, that's quite a bit of effort in the stalking and killing part of the task alone if a single primitive hunter is up to it. Then there's chopping the carcass up so the meat can be removed, unless the hunter decides to drag the carcass back to camp, however far that might be from the spot where the prey was hunted and successfully dispatched by the solitary hunter. I doubt he's going to try the fireman's carry with a half-ton of dead animal across his back or drag the same animal uphill or through a stream. If the hunter takes down a single animal yielding a half ton of meat (pretty darn big animal) or enough smaller animals to yield this much meat, he's going to be very tired when he gets through dragging all this food back to camp, if he doesn't pop a lumbar or sprain an ankle in the process of hunting, killing or dragging.

    Where are all his buddies during this unrealistically altruistic effort of his? How long would it take him to drag all ths meat back to camp? In this amount of time, his lazy friends are with the girls. Did he not think of this possibility? After breaking his back dragging half a ton of meat untold distances across variable terrain during all kinds of weather conditons, our lone hunter might be too tired or physically wrecked to care much about extra pair copulations.

    If he's lucky a more realistic scenario would be that he happens upon some small game animal and carries this back to camp to share with a significant other or some friends or he happens upon a carcass dropped by a group of predatory cats and makes off with the leftovers, maybe a couple pounds of meat or so in either case. Maybe he might cooperate with some friends and take down a large animal and all share in the tasks of dressing the carcass and bringing all the meat back to camp, where the women may have already gathered a whole bunch of berries, nuts or whatever else, just in case the hapless hunters got skunked again. At least when they're eating their nuts and berries they can brag around the campfire about the size and ferocity of the ones that got away.

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