Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Snakebit! Scampwalker's Lament
After traveling more than 2,500 miles, I have exactly two birds to show for it. I shot the only sharptail of the trip in Nebraska, tagged a late afternoon chicken in Kansas, and fired my gun once in three days of hunting on my latest trip to Minnesota. I can't blame this funk on bad shooting -- it's just bad luck. For one reason or another, it seems as though I've been in the wrong place at the wrong time all the time.
I've always believed -- and still firmly do -- that hunting is not about the killing of birds, and thankfully, the men that I hunt with subscribe to that credo as well. But I'm learning that this doctrine is much easier to subscribe to when you're occasionally shouldering your gun.
Now I know what Spanish philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset meant when he said, "One does not hunt to kill. On the contrary, one kills in order to have hunted." I'm kind of missing the punctuation at the end of the sentence, you know?
No sense in brooding on it. I suppose I'd prefer this to a self-induced shooting slump... and all three trips have been spectacular in every other way. But as I pack for Montana, I sure hope the bird gods are reading my blog.
More on my Minnesota trip soon.