Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Camo is the new black

You city-dwellers have no idea what it's like to wake up to the sound of gunshots echoing across the hills. Perhaps you've heard the sound of handguns pinging back and forth in a back alley, something we don't get much of here in the Middle of Nowhere.

There's no comparison.

If I heard a volley of shots, I'd take that as a sure sign to Get Out Of The Way. What we hear from the mountains are booms of thunder, distant and ominous. We wear bright colors when we walk, and we keep a close eye on the dogs when they are out. One neighbor dresses her dogs' collars in bright orange ribbons. Not a bad idea.

Buck hunting season began Monday morning, bright and early. I heard the first shot just prior to 7 a.m. I've been in town both days this week – Monday was personal maintenance, yesterday was car maintenance – and the number of folks I've seen dressed in camouflage is astonishing. I felt rather out of place at the service station dressed in solid black slacks and a beige tunic.

I've seen more eight-point bucks loaded on the beds of pickup trucks in the past two days than I've seen all year roaming the woods near our house. Where do they hang out when it's not hunting season?

I understand the necessity of culling the herd, really I do. Both my husband and I have had the unfortunate experience of meeting a deer up close and personal on a highway. Peoples' gardens are at risk all summer. And deer can do incredible damage to expensive and beautiful landscape plants.

I'd just as soon not see it, though. Maybe next year we should plan a vacation around hunting season. Instead of bringing our money into West Virginia (hunters contribute a huge amount of income to our state), we would be taking it into, Las Vegas, maybe. I can't think of any city more unlike rural West Virginia!

I'm taking a few days off. We're hosting dinner tomorrow, so I'll be cooking up a storm today and tomorrow, and getting creative with leftovers Friday and throughout the weekend. Lots of football on tap – it's rivalry weekend for college games. And I could use a little electronic break. Have a wonderful Turkey Day, if you celebrate it, and I'll "see" you next week.


Elora said...

Yup. This is the time of year when "out here" (just off the one lane road!) you don't own your own property for three weeks or so, while the mostly male species exercises its annual slaughter, apparently ratifying their manhood. You take your life in your hands just going into your own woods. And you'd better tie up your pets. Cityfolk have trouble telling the difference between the back of a dog and the back of a deer; after all they're both brown! We have black and white cows, even THEY are at risk! I always pray for LOTS OF RAIN.

Anne M. said...

My brother hunts, something that is completely alien to me. I don't know how we are related. Yesterday he shot a deer from the front porch of his ranch house, and had it dressed with the meat on ice in short order. The only thing that helps is knowing that he and the family cook and eat whatever they shoot.

May the season be short and you and your animals be safe.