Now I’ve gone and done it. So, where to begin?
First will be hunter safety class. Then I suppose a visit to a shooting range to fire an actual gun. (Bow-and-arrow can wait, don’t you agree?) Maybe I’ll even purchase my own firearm at some point.
But before you get all excited and twitchy about my misadventures in this new land of weapons, killing, and bloodshed—oh, and mouth-watering recipes for wild game—keep in mind that my leap from forager to hunter will not be an overnight transformation. The learning curve is steep enough that this first year, I suspect, will yield mostly preliminaries, plus I’ve got a bunch more traditional foraging to attend to, and, well, I just don’t want to make any predictions, okay? In short, I don’t see an elk hunt in my near future.
One of the commenters on my Resolution post mentioned hunting with firepower isn’t really the same as foraging. While not one to slice the semantical salami too thin, I’ll admit that this feels like a pretty major shift to me, which is why I’ll be starting small. I was pleased to see a recipe recently in the New York Times of all places for Squirrel Gumbo. Regular readers know that I’m a fan of Nawlins-style cookery, and though I haven’t had the distinct pleasure of tasting our bushy-tailed tree rats yet, I’m pretty sure I can make one palatable in a spicy gumbo.
But this is a ways off. My first shot at a squirrel will probably be in the spring when I visit relatives in Arkansas. My plan is to bone up on all the safety issues first and read some history and lore on the ancient bloodsport. Then, maybe, I’ll do my Elmer Fudd routine. I’m both looking forward to and dreading this chapter. Somehow, though, it feels necessary.
(Photo by RunnerJenny)