Sunday Go-a-Huntin’ Day

Exposing the Big Game

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…

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2 thoughts on “Sunday Go-a-Huntin’ Day

  1. I remember sitting in St. Helena’s Cathedral in the fall. One of the priests would ascend to the pulpit and issue a dire warning for hunters, telling them that if they skipped mass in the coming weeks to get an early start, they put their eternal souls in jeopardy. Missing mass was considered a mortal sin, an evil whose condign punishment was hell. If they had an accident and died before they could repent, there was no hope. No mention was made of the suffering and death of the animals whose doom was sealed every autumn. Days later the cars would appear with dead deer and elk tied to roofs and fenders (pick-up trucks with the bloody bodies safely concealed in the back were still in the future). Those sermons were the beginning of the end of Catholicism for me. I spent some years writing bishops and talking to priests about nonhuman suffering and sin and what the Church’s lack of concern for animals meant for its own theodicy. It was useless. There was no mercy to be found.

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