Monday, June 9, 2008

Hunting

Hunting is a controversial thing, I guess.
Never gave it a thought, really. It's just what people do here.
Not just the menfolk.
My friend, Mary, is an avid hunter. Her husband gave her five 'special' shotgun shells for Christmas. They cost $35. She thought he was nuts. She went spring gobbler hunting. It was just before a thunderstorm, and every time the thunder rumbled, she could hear the turkey gobbling. It thundered, the turkey would gabble to one another, getting closer and closer, and she crouched there, tense with excitement. They got within sight, and she came up slowly and fired. The gun bucked, knocked her flat on her ass, bruised her shoulder and somehow she manage to screw up her finger. She thought it was broken. She missed a perfectly fine turkey. To make the matter worse, the turkey stood there staring at her, making alarmed noises. She couldn't do anything about that, because her gun was jammed. Oh. Mary was mad. She stomped home to call her brother to help her unjam her gun. He made terrible fun of her. She made him shoot one of the shells. "Gees," he said, "that does have quite a kick..." When Danny got home, they were waiting, and she was still pretty upset. She hasn't been this upset since the two of them had hunted together, and she got a stick in her eye. It was not on purpose, now, but it hurt just as badly as if it was. Anyways, she and her brother made Danny shoot a shell too. Danny had made the statement, "Well, gees, I didn't know you were going to use one of those..." as if he'd bought the shells as an attractive display for a window sill or something. So, like I said, they made him shoot a shell. He agreed they were pretty powerful. Maybe the other two would be nice to display on a window sill.
Anyways, we hunt here.
Well.
Not me personally.
Animals look at you. I couldn't stand to shoot something that was looking at me. I know that's hypocritical. After all, I eat meat. Even your grocery store meat comes from an animal that someone has killed. It doesn't make you a better person because you don't hunt. It also doesn't make you a sadistic monster if you do.
I heard Bob Barker talking once. I like Bob. My pets are always spayed, or neutered, just like he says. But here's where we disagree. He was on a show once, talking about his belief that there is no need to hunt, because nature controls its own animal populations. It's true. Nature does. A massive deer herd will die off in the winter. Not enough food. They starve. That strikes me as less humane than a shot in the head. Bob Barker does not wear leather shoes either. His choice. But I really don't see why the heck you wouldn't. The animals are slaughtered for meat. He may be a vegetarian, but many people aren't. I don't understand why you'd waste a perfectly good cow hide. But that's just me. On the same token, I won't wear most fur. We don't eat the meat. It's a waste to kill an animal for its fur. Or for its antlers. Or because its the ultimate trophy.
We hunt for meat.
I make no apologies for that.
It's our way.
And if by chance, Tim gets a trophy, the one thing I know for sure...it will be on our wall along with the other stuff.
I'm going to write a book. "Decorating with Dead Stuff".
It will sell well here.

13 comments:

Hal Johnson said...

I have an uncle who has hunted since he was a teenager. He's also an animal lover. Lot's of folks don't think a person can be both an animal lover and a hunter. But hey, friend have told him that they'd like to die and come back as one of his dogs or cats. He says he always feels bad when he kills a deer, even after decades of hunting. He says that it's good that he feels bad, because he's taking responsibility for killing what he eats, instead of paying people to help him avoid facing that the steak he's BBQ'ing was once part of a living animal.

I can accept that a vegetarian objects to hunting. But, if you eat meet you've bought at the store and still condemn hunting, it just seems silly to me. As far as I'm aware, God has not elevated the deer or duck to protected status at the expense of cows and chickens.

Okay, that's it. I'm getting dizzy up on this here soapbox.

By the way, what would Tim recommend for a kid's first deer rifle?

Redlefty said...

Bob Barker doesn't wear leather because it would be redundant -- he is leather.

And deer jerky is delicious.

Hal Johnson said...

Another thing: my online friend Kelly is a vegetarian, and yet she hunts. How's that for a twist?

debby said...

Tim says it depends on a number of things. Size of the boy. Is it rifle or shotgun where this boy hunts? Is it long shots, or is it closer range (here in Pennsylvania, because most of the hunting takes place in the woods, a hunter usually isn't taking long shots.

PS: I don't 'get' the vegetarian hunter, but to each his/her own.

jeanie said...

Wow - it is such a different culture over here where I grew up to over there!

I agree that if you go out to kill something, something had best be put to good use.

I am a country girl and learned to shoot at a young age.

Not very well, and I didn't eat those tin cans, but I digress.

Here "hunting" is more to get rid of vermin and culling - and it is not something that gets my motor running.

V - being one of yours originally - did the hunting thing when he was a kid. Gave it away for surfboards and teen angst when he had the joy of putting down a rabbit in pain - rabbits scream, apparently.

That is one of the things about blogworld - you get to see the differences world wide and appreciate it.

debby said...

I have no stomach for hunting, but I could kill something that was in pain. It would make me cry, but I could do it.

I didn't realize that V is/was American. Where'd he grow up?

Hal Johnson said...

Debby, sorry if I'm temporarily turning your blog into a hunting forum, but Dylan turns eight this month, and weighs eighty pounds. It would be rifle hunting, with shots likely to be 100 yards or less.

If Dylan is serious about getting into hunting, it will be a test for Dad, who hasn't hunted since he was twelve. (Doesn't count blowing away the raccoon that killed our pet turkey. Yes, we had a pet turkey.)

debby said...

Huh. We had a pet raccoon. He rode motorcycles.

debby said...

Well. He didn't drive them.
I'll ask Tim when he gets in. He and Cara are doing some work on her car.

jeanie said...

Long long time ago, V came from Southern California. He likes Australia because of the less people factor! Oh, and the women...

debby said...

Jeanie: And just what is the matter with AMERICAN WOMEN? the American woman asked indignantly.
:^D.

Hal: Tim says that he recommends lots of target practice with a .22 to get used to sighting and shooting. When he's ready to deer hunt, Tim would recommend a .243. If you're squeamish about real guns at 8, start with a BB gun. Let him practice on that, reminding him to be careful on that only after he's seen 'Christmas Story'.

jeanie said...

Nothing so wrong with the American Women, I can assure you - just faster and smarter Aussie women crossed his radar at appropriate moments!!!

A whole different style of hunting we have digressed to.

debby said...

Over here, women don't brag about being fast. Just saying, Jeanie.
:^D