Sunday Go-a-Huntin’ Day

Living near prime wildlife habitat means that at any given moment you might get to see Vs of migratory ducks or cackling Canada geese flying right overhead. If you’re lucky, trumpeter swans might be among the waterfowl feeding and calling in the nearby estuary. And wood ducks or hooded mergansers might pay your inland pond a visit while searching for a quiet place to nest.
The down side of living near a natural wonderland? Being awakened Sunday morning at first light by the repeated volley of shotgun blasts, as though all-out war has been declared on all things avian (as is currently happening this morning). The Elmers out there (no doubt dressed in the latest expensive camo-pattern—a fashion statement apparently meant to impress the other Elmers out there) must be reveling in the fact that the dense morning fog allows them to “sneak” (in their loud outboard motor boats) up close enough to the flocks so that a large number of birds will end up dead, winged or otherwise wounded when they stand up and spray lead.

Duck hunting is the ultimate betrayal. It happens well into the winter, long after about other any hunting season is over, when the birds are congregated in flocks on their wintering grounds. And it happens often on lands supposedly set aside as wildlife “refuges.” Pro-kill groups like Ducks Unlimited (DU—an acronym, or perhaps an abbreviation for “duh”) insist that they have the animals’ best interests in mind. But when it comes right down to it, all they really want to preserve land for is to have a playground for killing (just listen to them scream if you try to propose a refuge closed to hunting).

Interestingly, they always seem to choose Sunday as their special day for bird killing. It’s no secret that most American hunters count themselves as good Christians. In choosing to hunt in lieu of church this time of year, they must feel closest to their gods in the killing fields.

How is this any different than a follower of Santeria sacrificing chickens? Both practices are equally bloody and violent. And the practice of Sunday go-a-duck-huntin’ probably claims more victims.

Who’s in “Season” Now?

I just came in from a long walk with our dog. For the most part, it was completely quiet out there. Not a breath of wind today, only the sound of our footsteps and the dog’s hot breath as she dragged me from scent to scent. Just as I started to consciously appreciate how peaceful it all was, the silence was extinguished by some damn neighbor shooting his gun.

What the hell was he shooting at? Who’s in “season” now? Deer and elk “season” are over. There’s an ongoing open season on ducks and geese, but this was no “pop, pop” of a shotgun; it was the echoing report of a high-powered rifle.

Coyotes can be shot on sight year-round, but thanks to assholes like this guy, there’s not much chance of seeing them out this time of day.

No, whoever it was, they were probably just firing off their gun for the fun of it. All’s I know is, it was fuckin’ irritating—and I’m sure the local wildlife found it even more annoying than I did.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2012. All Rights Reserved

Hunters: the Brainwashed Masses

Never underestimate the power of brainwashing when it comes to transforming peaceable children into violent hunters of helpless beings. If we are to assume that most children are born innocent, with a natural affinity toward animals, then brainwashing is the only explanation for their conversion to hunting. Of course, peer pressure and the mind-numbing power of constant bombardment of violent movies, TV and video games are clearly culprits in a kid’s overall corruption; but those are all just contributors to the overall brainwashing process.

There are four basic elements involved when a person is brainwashed:

  1. A severe traumatic shock
  2. Isolation—being taken away from the people or surroundings where the person feels secure
  3. Programming—hearing what the mind controller wants the subject to believe, over and over and over
  4. The promise of a reward

Applying this formula to the average animal-loving young child, in order for them to be brainwashed into thinking hunting is a normal, acceptable activity, they first need to suffer a traumatic shock. Well, surely seeing their first living, breathing deer, elk, goose or rabbit shot down (whether by gun or bow and arrow), then bled-out and butchered right before their eyes would qualify.

The isolation they would feel would be both physical and emotional, with no one out there to relate to or share in their sorrow for the poor animal so unnecessarily murdered by someone they’ve always looked up to.

The programming would have gone on well before the child witnessed the carnage. After the kill, it would become even more intense as the father (or mother) figure struggles to make their murderous act seem justified.

And the reward comes in the form of enthusiastic praise and back-patting when the child makes their first solo kill.

Before you know it, the once caring young person is fully indoctrinated into the sportsmen’s way of looking at animals—as objects to be “harvested” or “culled,” depending on its species or the whim of its assassin.

Text and Wildlife Photography© Jim Robertson

Text and Wildlife Photography© Jim Robertson