If last weekend’s weather had turned any worse I would have needed a boat!
I was all set for the opening of pheasant season and then the weather turned to bite me where it hurts! There was rain, lots of rain, and it was cold. Sometimes the drops of rain felt like hail stones and not raindrops. Cookie and I put the hunting bag away to wait for better weather. At least next week I can take off in the middle of the week and go south for some pheasant hunting.
One task I did take care of was gun cleaning. My muzzle loader was showing the effects of being in the weather and there was the threat of rust. I scrubbed the barrels clean and worked on all the exposed metal surfaces until it was Marine inspection clean. Part of that cleaning included getting into the area of the hammer that falls on the primer (I have no idea what the technical name for that is). I’ve had some misfire problems with one barrel and I suspected it was residue building up inside that part of the hammer. I don’t know if that was the real problem but I did clean out quite a bit of nasty black stuff so I am hopeful that I solved that problem.
One problem not so easily resolved is that of increasing questionable behavior by younger hunters. Since the season opened I’ve discovered that many high school boys who are hunting unsupervised, if the hunting is slow, have taken to shooting songbirds. I think that every boy who owns a BB gun has taken a shot or two at a sparrow or robin, sometimes even with a shotgun, but after the initial experience and the accompanying guilt the practice usually stops. Is that no longer the case? I know one group of boys that spends a great deal of their free time playing extremely violent games. There is the sound of bullet strikes, moans of the characters being shot and splatters of blood to add realism. But everything is make-believe so it doesn’t count—right?
I’ve gone through several cycles where I’ve maintained the games are bad, and then I’ve decided they are just glorified versions of the role games my generation played as kids. Now I am drifting back to believing that these games, whether it is a WWII (Vietnam, Korea, Iraq, pick your war) game or attacking three-headed monsters, creates an emptiness toward understanding the value of a life. Is it really possible to play hour after hour of on screen mayhem and then go hunting with real guns and switch from no value on life (even though it is digital) to having a value for life? Certainly the hunter kills but not wantonly and not without consideration for why he killing an animal.
There’s a problem here I do not have a solution but it does deserve some serious thought. I would like to learn what others think. glg
9 months ago