Hunting: lessons learned

by jpserrano on September 4, 2013 · 1 comment

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.

  1. 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.
  2. I enjoy the thrill of the hunt.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

  1. Wear pants.  Walking through a field of thistles will cut up legs.
  2. Wear blaze orange.  It is easy to shoot toward someone and be shot at if you are wearing cam0.
  3. Shooting a Dove out of the air is difficult.  For 150 shotgun rounds expended, I only bagged 10 birds.
  4. 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. 
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

jpserrano

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tuhina September 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Just read your blog on lessons learned from hunting. Boy, did that make me miss my childhood gutting trout and plucking feathers off quail!

I mean that seriously, btw.

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