One of my goals for 2013 was to learn to shoot a rifle and then go hunting wild hogs this fall. Well, the hunting season is here and it looks like I am going to finish 2013 once again never having fired a gun of any kind. The largest reason is funds- when I decided I wanted to learn to shoot, I honestly had no idea how much guns cost. Rifles are not small purchases, and then there’s ammunition, the cost of shooting ranges, gun safety courses, hunting licenses, and safety gear. Although I have had many offers from people willing to loan me their rifles to learn on, the timing hasn’t worked out yet.
I feel strongly that as an omnivore, I should be willing and able to kill and prepare my own animals for food. That level of connection to the land is something I have been actively developing for many years. The skills that go along with hunting- learning the local flora and fauna and tracking- I have been learning them my entire life. Hunting feels like something I already ought to be doing. I have read several books now on hunting and hunting from a ecological perspective, and each book makes me more committed to trying. The only part holding me back is the whole “gun” thing.
Fortunately, the animal I am most interested in hunting- the wild hog- doesn’t have a season. They’re an agricultural pest and can be killed at any time. I can start at any time. I think I’ll ask for a rifle for Yule.