Today is the first day of deer hunting in the southern region of NY if using a firearm. Bow season started about a month ago. How do I know? Am I currently bundling up and heading out to a tree stand? Not that I have not done so in the past, but no, I am getting myself geared up for a 12 mile run. I awoke today to the sound, not of my neighbor having target practice – a loud close shooting noise – but of a distant shot that told me someone was hunting in the area and has seen a deer. I decided if it was light enough to be hunting already, it was time to drag myself out of bed.
Ah, have I stirred an interest in me hunting? Once. I went hunting once. I did it for the guy I was dating. We went to college in a very rural area of the Adirondacks. We were both majoring in forestry and had taken wildlife management classes. We knew the reasons for hunting and controlling the population of deer. I was not convinced that hunting was my thing but Glenn asked if I would go hunting with him. He had a rifle at school and his parents would bring an additional one up when visiting for me to use. I just had to take a hunter safety course to be able to get my permit.
First, at 20, I was by far the oldest person in the hunter safety class. It was filled with 12 year olds and maybe a couple actual teenagers. The course itself was easy. There was a written test. Then, there was the shooting. I was handed a .22 and told to shoot the 9×12 paper that was probably 50 feet away. All the little kids had done it. Some right in the center, some off to the edge. I sighted and shot. Oops! I missed the paper. I was given three shots where everyone else got one. I think I heard the instructor muttering something about the deer being safe.
The story of that first and only hunting trip will hold for another morning that I am woken by shots.
Do you hunt? Does your significant other? Do you eat game such as venison?