Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Hunting season

My dad was never very much into hunting. He had guns that he enjoyed
collecting, and he did hunt on occasion, but it was largely because he
felt it was "expected" of him, and he kinda felt like he should be
enjoying it. My grandfather, uncles, etc. were all hunters.
My uncles and cousins were and are into hunting as a sport. My
grandfather, OTOH, hunted as part of a self-sufficient life. Of
course, he did enjoy it, but it was all about getting meat, not a nice
trophy. He also was a market trapper.
I spent a lot of time in my childhood with an older, homesteading
couple. They lived in a tiny old cinderblock house on a few acres with
cattle, a catfish pond, a woodlot, and a machine shed with tractors
and a repair shop. Albert cultivated other people's crops with his
tractors for pay, as well as a few other things; and his wife sewed at
home for income. They raised a large garden and ate and canned its
production, ate fish from the pond, butchered a steer every year, and
Albert hunted. He had a cheap 20 gauge single-shot shotgun and a cheap
.22 rifle, and that was it; but they ate rabbit, squirrel, venison,
etc. on a regular basis, and so did I when I was there.
So I learned hunting primarily from Albert and my grandfather, and
that is the kind of hunter I am still.

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