Saturday, July 24, 2010

hunting 101

My work is hosting a Hunter's Safety class, free of charge, to employees who are interested. I am taking it. It starts Monday night with a classroom lecture and will follow with weekends at the Manchester Wingshooting school and some other field work. I have never hunted before, but all of my friend up here do. Deer, ducks, grouse, woodcock, pheasants, and turkeys are all pursued around these parts. It would be fun to hop into a duck boat or go pheasant hunting with the gang. It would be just as grand to have a chest freezer full of venison. I guess I'll wait and see.

The main reason I am taking the class is to better know and understand firearms. I own a small rifle: a 1969 Remmington .22 I bought in Idaho. But beyond loading it and firing it: I know little. This class will teach me more about basic gunmanship (if that is even a word) and if there is any interest in going hunting, it will spark there too.

It would be nice to join the community of hunters here in the fall. It seems like that celebration time of bounty, stories, pursuit and loss is epic to so many. The hunt crosses socio-economic boundaries and handshakes across property lines are common. It's exciting to hear the stories. Maybe I could start telling some of my own. I'm looking forward to hitting the field.

20 Comments:

Blogger Katey and Dave said...

I took up upland bird hunting, deer hunting, and antelope hunting when I moved to South Dakota. I'd never held a gun before I moved here. Now it's one of my favorite things to do. You end up exploring a lot of terrain you might never have discovered otherwise. Definitely try to find a mentor who's willing to show you some good spots (and if you're bird hunting, find someone with a good dog!). Also, if you get your deer processed, make sure that you find a processor who will give you YOUR deer back - a lot of places mix it all together.

July 24, 2010 at 1:44 PM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Good for you! There is nothing like venison stew on a cold day that is full of venison, carrots, onions and potatoes - and knowing that all of it was brought to the table by a long summer of planting, weeding and watering, and long, cold days in the tree stand. It really is a wonderful feeling - and healthier too!

July 24, 2010 at 2:10 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

The Hunter Safety courses are excellent and teach so much more than just firearm handling. I wonder if NY and VT have reciprocity with their HS classes. You are going to get rid of the pumpkin thief and fill your freezer yet.

July 24, 2010 at 2:25 PM  
Blogger Debi said...

Sigh....more homesickness for N.Y. :( Growing up my Dad was and avid (obsessed) hunter. Tracy brought back beautiful memories of Fall,my favorite also, with the smell of venison stew and wood smoke filling our cabin. I didn't appreciate it as much then, but miss the hell out of it now. I only went hunting with my dad a couple of times, and now I regret not learning more. Luckily, my kids are visiting him and my mom down in Florida, and he's buying my son a 22 and taking him rabbit hunting! Maybe I'll be learning how to hunt from my son instead!

Good luck with your H.S. course!

Blessings,
Debi

July 24, 2010 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger Misha said...

Your gun was probably made at Remington Arms in Ilion, NY (a couple hour drive from where you live and a beautiful drive through dairy country). I grew up in Mohawk the next town over.

July 24, 2010 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger MamaTea said...

Sounds exciting! Good luck with your class. We grew up on wild game at my house and now my husband and I continue the tradition. Its nice to feel self sufficient in that respect. Nothing like going to the freezer and pulling out something you yourself put there. :)

July 24, 2010 at 5:14 PM  
Blogger SWEETHEARTS MOM said...

I'd like to see you with a chest freezer full of cold antler garden fed deer.

July 24, 2010 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Stargazer 2 said...

JENNA,
"HUNTING 101" REALLY MADE ME
LAUGH WHEN THIS POST MADE ME THINK
OF ANOTHER ONE OF YOUR POST, "THIS WILL ONLY TAKE A MINUTE"!!!
I REALLY NEEDED A GOOD LAUGH
TODAY, YOUR BLOG DID THE TRICK!!!
LOOKING FORWARD TO MORE OF THE
"DRAMA" ON CAF!!!
"CHEERS" WITH A HEALTH DRINK!!!
RONNIE

July 24, 2010 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger RenĂ© said...

Sounds like a great class. I don't think I'd have the heart for hunting but I appreciate people who do it humanely and for the right reasons.

July 24, 2010 at 7:44 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

Misha's comments made me look at my own .22 that was my Mom's squirrel gun used not more than 10 miles from you. It is also a Remington. Back in the 50's and early 60's, Mom used to keep it in the kitchen window so it was handy to shoot rats that were after the chicken food. Very accurate little rifle now living in Maine.

July 24, 2010 at 7:50 PM  
OpenID Annie said...

Good for you. I think everyone should take a course in gun safety, regardless of what they own a gun for or, really, even if they own a gun. Too few people respect and understand guns.

July 24, 2010 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I'd also add that there are ALOT f men....single men and hunting is there passion :)Its agreat thing to add to your skill set/ knowledge base :)

July 24, 2010 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

My grandfather used to hunt, but my mom said that she thought he just liked to tramp around in the woods with his friends as he never brought anything home. But he was an avid and excellent fisherman!

I think that hunting connects you to centuries upon centuries of humankind, and I imagine that it would make you feel pretty good to know that you could go out and get dinner. I don't think it's something I'll ever have the opportunity or inclination to do, but I can see how it would be appealing.

You might want to also consider learning how to use a sidearm as well. There was a story in Florida awhile back that a hunter had set his rifle against a tree to, um, relieve himself and got surprised by the boar he was hunting. It was lucky he had a sidearm on him. Deer have also been known to cut folks to ribbons with their hooves.

Guns are tools, and with any tool, safety is key. I'm glad you're taking this class, and I hope you really enjoy it. October is going to mean so much more to you!

July 25, 2010 at 2:40 AM  
OpenID urbanadaptation said...

That sounds like a great opportunity, and a chance to learn a whole lot.

July 25, 2010 at 11:21 AM  
Blogger Rosie said...

Consider getting some thing with a bit more fire power like a shot gun and a handgun (38) after you finish your class. Living in the country they will be there if you need them.


Rosann
SF bay area
California

July 25, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
OpenID thatsthelife said...

Paula,

That's exactly what my father's "hunting trips" were about. Taking rifles into the bush with a bunch of buddies drinking beers around the campfire. Never once did he bring anything home.

Fishing he took more seriously.

I believe that hunting is a part the equation of sustainable living. Farming is one part, but so much food is "free range" and naturally free of artificial growth hormones, antibiotics etc.

I know a guy who goes hunting in lieu of buying meat. One elk is all he needs a year, with a few ducks and pheasants here and there.

I mean, you're feeding the local deer anyway, right? ;)

July 25, 2010 at 1:29 PM  
OpenID thatsthelife said...

Paula,

That's exactly what my father's "hunting trips" were about. Taking rifles into the bush with a bunch of buddies drinking beers around the campfire. Never once did he bring anything home.

Fishing he took more seriously.

I believe that hunting is a part the equation of sustainable living. Farming is one part, but so much food is "free range" and naturally free of artificial growth hormones, antibiotics etc.

I know a guy who goes hunting in lieu of buying meat. One elk is all he needs a year, with a few ducks and pheasants here and there.

I mean, you're feeding the local deer anyway, right? ;)

July 25, 2010 at 1:29 PM  
Blogger Maggie in Tally said...

If you're gonna hunt, you'll need more'n a 22. A Ruger Mini 14 would be a good hunting & varmint gun.Rugers ain't purty, but they're good quality firearms.

July 25, 2010 at 2:52 PM  
Blogger Stephanie G. said...

I just finished your book today. HIGH-LARIOUS. I too am on a path to a more sustainable way of life. I laughed out loud that you named one of your chickens Ann Coulter. And now I want to raise angora rabbits but I live the desert and am afraid they'll roast in their fluffy fur. Anyhoo....keep up the good work.

Stephanie
www.simplicitymom.blogspot.com

July 25, 2010 at 6:25 PM  
Blogger Matt_Middleton said...

Very cool! I hope to learn how to hunt in the next year or two, as I love game meat (especially moose)!

August 6, 2010 at 10:53 AM  

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