This last weekend I had the opportunity to hunt Dove. I was invited by a member of my congregation and eagerly took up the chance.
WHY? You may ask.
I did this because I’ve had this desire to be intimately involved, at least once, with the life cycle of the meat I eat. I wanted to go from seeing the animal alive, to killing, preparing, cooking, and eating it. I can’t explain this desire, it doesn’t extend to my other eating habits. I don’t care about organic food nor try to limit my intake of GMO’s; those aren’t concerns for me. For some unexplainable reason, I wanted to learn how to hunt, clean an animal, and eat it.
I learned a lot about myself and hunting during this trip.
Here are some stuff I learned about myself.
- Watching the sunrise while in the middle of a field is life giving. I am not usually a morning person, not anymore at least. But, waking up before the sun and watching it rise refreshed my innermost being. It’s a kind of beauty that isn’t found even at sunset.
- I enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
- Killing a bird with my bare hands is sad. Explanation: you see, sometimes a bird is shot in a non vital area and doesn’t die immediately. I believe that it is unethical to leave them wounded. Therefore, it is necessary to dispatch them fairly quickly after it is shot.
- I actually like animals. I give my wife a lot of grief for our cat. But, I found that killing an animal by hand pained me; I wasn’t as indifferent to the act as I thought I would be. It gave me pause to the gravity of where I get my food.
Here are some things I learned about hunting.
- Wear pants. Walking through a field of thistles will cut up legs.
- Wear blaze orange. It is easy to shoot toward someone and be shot at if you are wearing cam0.
- Shooting a Dove out of the air is difficult. For 150 shotgun rounds expended, I only bagged 10 birds.
- Killing a bird with my hands was easier than I expected. I am not talking about the mental aspects of it, I am talking about the physical act. It is very easy to kill a bird with one’s hands.
- Cleaning birds is a messy business. We get a very “sterilized” version of meat in the grocery store; we don’t have to clean it in order to cook it.
Use a fixed blade knife for cleaning birds. I used a folding knife and couldn’t get it clean.
I have yet to cook the birds, but I will. I’ll post again on how I prepared them.