Monday, October 23, 2006
I've Renewed My Membership With PETA - People Eating Tasty Animals
I made that comment over at Rockstar Mommy's a few days ago.
Someone called me a Republican.
I can handle being called fat, I can handle being called ugly, I can handle being called a geek, but about one more person calls me a Republican and I'm liable to dot the fucker's eye for him.
What? If you're mature enough to be able to handle the idea of where your food comes from then you're obviously a right wing nut job that has a Dubya poster on your bedroom ceiling, Rush "Pussgut" Limbaugh cranked up on your stereo, and a morbid fear of those nasty middle eastern boogie men that are bound to get us any day now? Sorry, but I don't think so. Keep the petty political labels for the terminally ignorant, I don't buy into the name calling anymore, and they don't fit me. Trying to convince me to be afraid of your made up enemy is not an effective control tactic for this hillbilly, it just really reminds me of a chap named Adolph and another made up enemy that suffered terribly at the hands of tyrants. I may have no problem with harvesting my own food, but I'm most definitely not a Republican, and if I had been in the past, I wouldn't be any longer.
You know that bloody, eviscerated deer carcass that you spied yesterday? Yeah, you know the one I'm talking about. The one tied to the flatbed trailer beside the ATV that some guy was pulling behind his pickup. The hamburger that you ate for lunch looked just like that a few weeks ago.
Deal with it. I do. No GOP membership card required. Gut a deer, spoon the seeds out of the middle of a delicious acorn squash, skin an elk, peel a potato, filet a fish, slice a tomato, pluck a chicken, it's all just necessary food preparation to me and anyone that's concerned about the smell really should stuff their sniffer in a cow's innards some time. I have, and I still eat 'em, but I wouldn't advise it for the faint of stomach. Notice I didn't say whether or not I blew chow afterwards.
Why do I bring this up you ask? Well . . . because it's now officially hunting season that's why! Oh sure it's been hunting season for weeks for some folks, but I don't shoot goats, and I haven't had time to shoot any birds, and although I'm not fundamentally opposed to the idea I feel no need to sit in a tree all day with a primitive weapon with hopes of skewering my future food with an aluminum arrow. Nope, my idea of hunting is much the same as my idea of gardening. Pluck it and eat it, works for me.
This year I'm not going to get too concerned with hunting though. I bought the boy and myself deer tags, but I've decided not to set myself up for failure by forking out the bucks for an elk license again. Maybe in a year or two when I've built my vacation time back up to where I actually have time to get serious about it like I used to, but going elk hunting for a day isn't very productive unless one is extremely lucky. It's just a waste of time, effort, and fuel.
Sunday morning found us standing watch on a hayfield near Joliet. A hayfield that turned out to be loaded with deer when the sun came up. A hayfield that turned out to be about 400 yards across, with loads of deer on the far side of it when the sun came up. A hayfield that was about 400 yards across and loaded with deer until my son and a coworker's stepson fired at, and missed said deer. There weren't any deer in it after that.
I think Junior and I should've spent a little more time at the target range last summer. In his defense however, it would've been a long shot even for me, and it was damn cold. A one hundred yard shot is difficult when you're shivering like a puppy shittin' razor blades, let alone four hundred. An older, more experienced shooter is more able to shut off his or her body's reactions to things like cold or being out of breath long enough to make a clean shot, but an inexperienced kid just knows that he's cold. The kid missed plain and simple, but like I told him, there's more shame in the fact that he took the shot in the first place than there is in missing. I've always taught him that if you're not absolutely sure, just say so. I'll never chew him out for refusing to waste ammo or take a chance on wounding an animal. Half of being a good marksman is knowing your capabilities and the capabilities of your equipment, and the only way to figure out what those capabilities are is with experience. He needs some.
This year I've resolved myself to let the boy shoot a deer before I even try. No matter how frustrated I get with his inexperience, no matter how much I just want to beat him over the head with a stick, no matter how many bullets he deposits into terra firma in the general vicinity of deer, I'm not firing a shot until I have pictures of my beloved son kneeling beside a bloody carcass holding my old rifle and smiling.
Smile damn it. I don't care if you're tired. I don't care if it stinks. I don't care if you're about to puke. I said SMILE.
I'm not one of those dads that "insists" that his kids follow in his footsteps. If the boy had no interest in hunting whatsoever I can't say that I wouldn't be disappointed because I would be, but it's his choice and I'm comfortable letting him make it. If he wanted to be a ballet dancer I can't say that I'd exactly support him wholeheartedly . . . . . The fact is though, that the boy IS interested in hunting, and I would really like for him to experience the pride and sense of accomplishment that I did when I bagged my first buck. There's just nothing in the world that makes me feel manly like killing something and eating it. Call me names if you want, just don't come crying to me if you get hungry.
Most of all, my daughter is already expressing increasing interest in taking Hunter Education and going hunting with Dad as soon as she's old enough, and I can't even imagine the embarrassment a young man would feel at having his little sister shoot a deer before he did. Actually I can imagine it, my sister goes elk hunting every year, and actually brings home elk. It's not quite the same though, my sister's older than me, and she usually tosses me a few packs of elk steaks. Anyone know of a good ballet instructor?