Sunday, February 7, 2010

Signing Up

"Yes. Hi, I'm not sure I have the right number."
"Are you calling about the hunter safety course?"
"Yes," somewhat relieved.
"OK. Let me find the paperwork here. I've done something clever with it."
"Uh . . . I don't have a gun. Is that OK?"
"That's all right. We provide all the firearms."
"Oh . . Great. And is it all right if . . . I mean . . . I've never really shot a gun before or a bow. Or, at least, not really. There was one time in Boy Scout camp--"
Awkward pause.
"You want to sign up for the course?"
"All right. Your signed up. Just come to the gun club at 8:00."
"That's it?"
"Well, you'll need $35 for the lisence because it's a combination bow and rifle lisence."
"Oh . . well . . . thanks."

* * *

Who would have thought that the long-haired, vegetarian, environmentalist would be signing up for the hunting permit? And yet here I am, in some hair-brained quest to eat from the land planning to spend a day at the gun club shooting things.

When I was younger I dreamed that if I ever hunted it would be with a bow, the old way, like the native hunters. Yet, if I ever do get to the point of actually trying to kill an animal, I doubt I'll do it with the bow. I want to be quick and merciful. I want a sure shot with as little pain as possible. I've heard that most bow hunters end up following a bloody track through the brush until they find the spot where their quarry has finally succumbed to exhaustion. That's a price too high for "getting in touch with my roots."

Who knows if I'll even try going down this foraging route? Would I pull the trigger? I saw a deer bound through the hemlock trees on Friday and wondered.

In gratitude that I get to share this land with such remarkable neighbors,


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