While New York gets back on its feet and prepares to return to the normalcy of going back to work, my sister Lisa is here to share a guest post from Oregon about fulfilling her lifelong dream to learn to hunt (which I never knew she had).
So, basically, I could not wait until the day that I actually was able to learn to hunt my food, to kill it and prepare it myself, to have the most cruelty-free and sustainable meat.
After graduate school in New York City, I moved to the high desert of Eastern Oregon, and have slowly begun to ease my way into the activities that are so common and normal here: hunting and fishing.
Last June I caught my first trout. I went on my first deer hunt a few weeks ago, with my boyfriend and his family who are very experienced and intelligent hunters. I learned gun safety, hunting strategy, and the excitement and beauty of a hunting trip. We hunted in the northeastern corner of Oregon where the red sunrises and sunsets flowed through the geometry of 400 foot deep canyons. And I shot a deer through the heart with one shot (I guess the hand-eye coordination from softball pitching lessons really paid off, mom!). No suffering, instant predation. Gutting the deer felt felt much more natural than I thought it would. It was like dissecting an animal in biology class, except with the proud knowledge that we were all going to share several great meals afterward.
Duck hunting is trickier than I thought. I hunted for ducks in a wildlife area in a basin lake from 7-11am, and then again from 1-4pm, my whole body covered with varying layers of camouflage except for my eyes (ducks can see color and understand what a face is). It was very cold, then it was very hot, and we only saw about two ducks flying the whole day.
My boyfriend's family and I are going duck hunting Thanksgiving morning, to bring home some fresh duck, and maybe geese, to cook as our Thanksgiving meal. I'm glad that I get to participate in such a thankful and sustainable tradition.
The only thing left is to get Julia to hunt with me when she comes out to Oregon at some point (which is totally going to happen).
Hmmm, I don't know about that. While I support the act of hunting your own meat for the same reasons that Lisa does, I'm personally not interested in taking part in it, at least for now. Although, I do think it would be a useful survival skill if we see apocalyptic environmental and economic changes during our lifetime. What about you - would you ever go hunting?