A Hunting We Will Go
Last night while I was eating supper I watched two does grazing in the fresh cut hay field near the woods. I don’t approve of random killing of these fine specimens of wildlife I do realized that an annual harvest is necessary to maintain the health and stability of the herd.
There was a day when hunting was a means of providing meat for the family table and even today the same practices are followed. Venison is an excellent table meat.
As a friend once explained to me: “If you took the finest prime steer and shot it. Preferably gut shot it, then chased it through the woods for a mile or so, drug it back out up a hill, pitched into the back of a pickup, drove for thirty miles in the hot sun, and let it hang in a garage for a couple of days undressed the said steer would taste gamey too.”
Kidding aside when you take to the fields and woods remember the safety rules.
- Treat your weapon as if it is loaded and ready to fire at all times. Control the direction of your weapon. Never point a firearm or bow at anything you don’t want to shoot, including your foot.
- Know your weapon inside and out. Be sure your ammo matches the gauge or caliber of your gun. Know how far bullets, arrows, pellets can travel. Never shoot at flat surfaces, such as water, rocks, etc. because of ricochets.
- Wear proper clothing with a brilliant over-vest. Do not neglect your ears and eyes. Loud noises can lead to hearing loss and shielding your eyes from dangerous gases, powder, and other debris is imperative.
- Never climb fences, ladders or jump over rugged terrain while holding a loaded firearm.
- Put a halter on your excitement, remain cool and alert at all times. Never take alcoholic or other substances into the field. When you score a good hit never turn to companions with a loaded firearm or run toward the downed animal. It may not be dead, only stunned, and could put you in jeopardy.
- Pass up any shot that could be unsafe. Never pull the trigger until you are absolutely sure you target is clear in your sights. Never shoot an animal on top of a hill – you never know who or what is on the other side, besides who wants to pack out a carcass up hill.
- Always unload firearms and unstring conventional bows when they’re not in use. Make sure the safety lock is in place. Store ammunition separately, and keep it under lock and key.
Happy hunting when you follow the rules, but carelessness can lead to permanent residence in the Happy Hunting Grounds.