Posts Tagged ‘hunting’

Being Ready for the Bad Guys

December 19, 2017

I know a gun advocate I’ll call Bob who carries a handgun in a small camera bag wherever he goes. He wants to be ready to deal with the bad guys. I’ve known him casually for several years. He knows I don’t carry but he also knows I’m OK that he does. The other day Bob asked me if my parents had a gun when I was growing up. I started to say “no.” Then I stopped.

Of course we had guns. We had five of them. We had a family-heirloom muzzle loader that went out to the California gold rush and back. It still worked and Dad sometimes fired it, although the rest of us kept well back. Mom had a .410 that I used to hunt rabbits. I had a single-shot .22 for squirrels. Dad had a pump-action .22 with a scope for squirrels and varmints. And he had a double-barreled 12 gauge for rabbits and birds.

I almost said “no” to the Bob’s question because we didn’t think of these guns as something for shooting people. Obviously we could have defended ourselves. A 12-gauge shotgun is very persuasive. But we had guns in the house for hunting. A handgun or an assault rifle for killing people was never something we considered.

I think of my uncles who fought in WWII and I don’t believe any of them kept handguns or military weapons. They just didn’t seem necessary.

Maybe Bob will someday drop a bad guy. More likely he’ll pull out his .32 and the bad guy will drop Bob. I do understand his anxiety about the world around us. I also understand that Bob feels confident when he carries a gun. But I wish he would put his camera back in his camera bag so we could go birding.

 

Mike in the Woods, Photo by Vera Smetzer

Mike in the Woods, Photo by Vera Smetzer

Hunting Season & Hunting Safety

October 31, 2017

Dad wanted Mom to go rabbit hunting with him, but he only bought her a .410 shotgun. Dad thought of Mom as a city girl, so he didn’t feel comfortable having her hunting next to him with a 12 gauge. When Dad decided that I was old enough to go hunting, he had me use Mom’s .410 for rabbits and he bought me a single-shot .22 for squirrels. Dad was a safe hunter. He didn’t take unnecessary chances.

Bernie & Viola Smetzer

Mom & Dad

Ordinary Meats

December 4, 2016

We have had a variety of meats lately, but I have been missing something this fall. As squirrel hunting wanes back home and rabbit hunting gets underway, I have been missing those seasonal rodents of my youth. Mom would brown them in a pan and then bake them in the oven. Squirrel and rabbit had distinctly different flavors. I liked them both.

They were ordinary meats. Not grand meats like the Thanksgiving turkey or the Christmas ham. And not trophy meats like venison or moose or elk. They were everyday fare. Each a part of its season. Squirrel in the fall, rabbits in the winter once their tracks could be seen in the snow. They fit into the calendar like the progression of vegetables in the garden, from the greens and radishes of spring to the squash and carrots and potatoes of late fall. Sitting here in my city apartment, I miss the taste of squirrel and rabbit as a part of that progression.