Before I became a hunter, I fished. Before either, I enjoyed being on an Atlantic beach, chasing clam squirts at low tide; or along the bank of a local stream, chasing painted turtles; or chasing fireflies through a nearby meadow on a Summer's evening. Even before any of that, I have vague memories of sitting between rows of vegetables in our Italian neighbor's back yard garden, watching sunlight dapple through the leaves and onto my hands and arms as I reached to put any and everything into my mouth, to test if it was good to eat.
Often I take pleasure in the beauty of nature. Even more basic on Maslow's hierarchy, I take pleasure in the taste of nature's bounty. I've hunted, or been involved in hunting, each of the five game animals listed below, in the bioregion which we each inhabit. Deer and turkey and bear often wander through the property that's my home range. Canada [not Canadian] geese, and many different species of duck, Summer on nearby waters. In all the years we've lived here, I've only seen one ruffed [not ruffled] grouse.
Over the years I've learned a little about the food and habitat preferences of quarry I've pursued. That's been one of the major doors through which I've entered my learning about and love for nature and what she offers. We can't really love what we don't know, can we? On the other hand, I used the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources web site to confirm the "permissable hunting season" and answer the second part of today's bioregional quiz question.
List five game animals that can be hunted in your region
and the permissable hunting season of each.
- Archery -- 09/19/15 - 12/31/15
- Firearm (northeast) -- 11/07/15 - 11/22/15
- Muzzleloader -- 11/28/15 - 12/13/15
back yard whitetail deer
Waterfowl -- Sept. 26-Oct. 4; Oct. 10-Nov. 29
back yard Canada geese
Turkey -- 04/15/15 - 05/28/15
back yard turkeys
Grouse -- 09/19/15 - 01/03/16
The unicorn is an easy prey: its hornin the maiden’s lap is an obvioustwist, a tamed figure—like the hawkthat once roamed free, but sits now, fat and hooded,squawking on the hunter’s wrist. It’s easyto catch what no longer capturesthe mind, long since woven in,a faded tapestry on a crumbling wallmade by the women who wore keysat their waists and in their sleep camehot dreams of wounded knights left bleedingin their care, who would wake the next morninggroaning from the leftover lance in the groin,look up into the round blond face beaming downat them thinking "mine," and say: "angel."Such beasts are easy to catch; their dreamsbetray them. But the hard prey is the onethat won’t come bidden.
By these signs you will know it:when you lift your lureout of the water, the long plastic linewill be missing its end: the lure and the hookwill be gone, and the line will swing freein the air, so light it will be withoutbait or its cunningsharp curl of silver. Or when you pullyour net from the stream, it will be eatenas if by acid, its fine mesh sodden shreds.
Or when you go at dawn to check your traps,their great metal jaws will be wrenchedopen, the teeth blunt with rustas if they had lain for years in the rain.Or when the thunderstorm suddenly breaksin the summer, next morningthe computer’s memory will be blank.
Look then for the blank card, the sprung trap,the net’s dissolve, the unburdenedline that swings free in the air.There. By day, go empty-handed to the huntand come home the same wayin the dark.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.