Many folks where I grew up are passionate about hunting. It just never quite took hold with me.
I grew up doing some hunting and a good bit of fishing, and I did an awful lot of shooting. All of my shooting was in self-defense, of course, as I was attacked by a lot of bottles, cans and road signs out in the country. You city folks don’t know how dangerous little road signs are because you’re so used to those docile giant signs along the interstate.
By the time I was 13, I was mostly done with hunting. I remember squirrel hunting, but what I most recall was walking through serene woods with my dad. I remember dove hunting, but mostly I recall the breeze blowing through a field while I devoured Slim Jims. I remember raccoon and opossum hunting, but mostly I recall the look of horror on my mom’s face when she saw those creatures in her oven. (By the way, they make some darn good barbecue.)
I also remember being cold — whether it was deer hunting or setting out trot lines on Buck Creek — I always seemed to be cold. We could have been hunting toucans in the rain forest on the equator in July, and I’d have frozen to death. (Just as well that I never bagged a toucan anyway because they don’t make good barbecue — taste too much like Froot Loops.)
I didn’t like being cold. I got no thrill out of killing an animal or road sign. And I even grew tired of the lovely sound of gunfire. Back then, of course, it was the occasional shotgun blast or a few blasts from a 22-caliber rifle or pistol (our preferred bottle executioners). Nowadays, the gunfire I hear is from folks practicing with their militia buddies to take on the government before the feds come to get their guns — the kind of folks who say they won’t live in fear but have been fearing someone is coming for their guns for 30 years now.
It turns out that what I really liked was being outdoors, experiencing nature and savoring the quiet. In fact, the last time I went hunting was three weeks ago on the Wakulla River in Florida — where I hunted manatees, with a camera, from a kayak. I “shot” plenty, by the way, without disturbing the peace.
I’m not anti-hunting, though. And I’ve been known to take deer meat off a lot of folks’ hands. If I ever go deer hunting again, though, I’m going to do it by dressing up as a 1984 Oldsmobile, dousing myself with gasoline and making “vrooom!” noises because deer seem to be attracted to that sort of thing. Meanwhile, you can dress in camouflage, de-scent yourself and hide in a deer stand for two months in the cold and see nothing.
But there’s one hunting option that intrigues me — Bigfoot hunting. And Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey has proposed a Bigfoot hunting season for his state. However, he says the goal is not to kill Bigfoot but rather to prove he (Bigfoot) exists. His bill directs the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to establish the annual dates of a Bigfoot season and create any necessary specific hunting licenses and fees.
Not being allowed to kill Bigfoot certainly is going to disappoint a lot of folks who already had carved out a space for his head on their living room wall before reading the fine print of the bill. Perhaps Qanon-y freshman Congresswoman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene will follow up with a nationwide bill to assassinate Bigfoot, since she seems to be pretty supportive of such things.
And I know she believes in Bigfoot because she believes anything, such as “Frazzledrip.” If you don’t know what Frazzledrip is, well, it’s ludicrously stupid, so I guess it’s not a surprise Greene endorses the conspiracy theory. You’ll be much better off just going hunting for Bigfoot, who stands more of a chance to be real. If you do see Bigfoot, though, just remember what Greene’s colleagues say when she arrives on Capitol Hill each day: