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Posts Tagged With: hunting

Opening Day

It’s a big day here in Michigan: it’s opening day for the 2011 firearms season. This is a very big deal in a State so heavy on outdoor sports: fishing, hunting, water sports, etc.

I know of school districts that will close today;  colleagues have taken the week off and others have been setting aside “deer camp” provisions for weeks.

Over the last few years, around 700,000 individuals have purchased a license to hunt deer in Michigan. These hunters ultimately spend more than 9.6 million days afield and take more than 400,000 deer. Over 300,000 hunters participate in Michigan’s archery season, about 600,000 hunt with a firearm and 200,000 with a muzzleloader.   Source:  http://www.michigan.gov/dnr

And the deer know it, too.    They’ve been manic of late; many car/deer accidents are being reported and I’ve seen my share alongside the road – some bolting and others … not so much.

What’s this have to do with me?  I scheduled a trip today that takes me  through farmland, corn fields and valleys. My kind of drive except for one thing:  It’s. Right. Through. The. Center. Of. Deer. Nirvana.

And there’s a dense fog advisory this morning.

Elmer Fudd image from Wikipedia.org

I’m not a hunter but I’m glad we have a hunting season. There are too many deer and, without hunters culling the population, they starve.  Ever seen a starving deer?  It’s a terrible, terrible sight.  All hunters I know eat what they take and those who get more than one often donate to local food banks.

So hunters please … please be safe, wear your hunter orange, and shoot straight.

As for me? I’ll take my time, heading out after the fog lifts, and keeping my eyes peeled for sudden bursts of tan coming out from the corn.

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Categories: Animals, Food, Personal, Sports, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

Karma pie

In my former life, I worked in administration for a global energy company.  I worked hard, put my time in and climbed the corporate pecking order ladder.  The job family was a good fit for me because I am organized and efficient, can juggle projects, connect the dots, and keep things moving.

After being promoted to a more senior position supporting one of the Vice-Presidents, I found myself with many new responsibilities and challenges. The man I reported to was kind, agreeable and well respected. Definitely a high flyer and certainly on track to become something more.  We developed an easy camaraderie, I made some new friends and, for a time, felt very much at home.

Then, one day, everything changed.  We were all told that our present boss would be moving on to a new opportunity and we’d be getting a new VP from another part of the business.   Not a problem, I thought. In my career, I’d had many supervisors and had made many such transitions successfully.

A farewell lunch was held and the old boss shipped out; arrangements began to move the new guy in from downtown.

A few days later, I received a phone call from his then assistant. The movers were scheduled to pack belongings the next day and she wondered what time I planned on being there. Surprised, I asked, “Why?  “So you can photograph the birds,” was her reply.  What?

You see, the new boss was an avid hunter and apparently had a variety of stuffed birds mounted in his office.  He expected – demanded actually – that the birds and his very large swordfish be hung in the same fashion at his new office.

Lest you think I am against hunting, I’m not.  I grew up on a farm and I understand what happens when the deer herd is over-populated. It’s not pretty.  I’ve grown up with hunters and I’ve eaten some game.   Any hunter I know eats what they take, and they don’t just kill for killing’s sake.

Back to the story.  Boss moves, birds, fish and assorted dead things get hung up on the wall. Staff meets boss, and boss makes his mark on the department.  And not in a good way.  Boss yells at employees, talks down to staffers and soon .. people begin to hide and I ponder changing careers.

Flash forward a few months … boss books an expensive hunting excursion for exotic game in Africa.  Every single one of us endure endless meetings derailed by his hunting talk.

Finally, the date arrives for his “big trip.”  We wished him well, shut the door and erupted in cheers because we all knew what we were in for — three gloriously delicious weeks of mutual respect, project work, a host of accomplishments and, at long last, peace.

And then, like a dark cloud, he returned.

With stories of the trip of course … And pictures!

Pictures … of the carnage.

Antelope. dead.
Gazelles. dead.
Water buffalo. dead.
Lions. dead.
Zebras. dead.

Zebras!  Who shoots a Zebra?  That’s like shooting a pony!

I found myself sitting at my desk, reeling at the blood and the gore and the look of absolute delight on his face.  I still shudder when I think of those images.

Time passed, and our work life returned to normal.   He continued on as usual, swearing at the mail room clerks when his paper wasn’t delivered on time and made a sport out of crucifying analysts in budget meetings. Halls were empty and staffers hid regularly.

Over time, I notice him growing increasingly agitated.    Why?

Because his shipping container of African dead things – all the skins and hides and hooves and heads that he couldn’t wait to display – was delayed.  In Customs.  Where it sat in the hot African sun.  And rotted, rendering all contents unusable.

And to this day, I still smile when I think of that day:  the day that one of the nastiest people I’ve ever known had himself a big, fat slice of Karma pie.

this is what I imagine Karma pie to look like .. but perhaps it's chunkier and hard to choke down?

And I like to think those animals smiled with me.

Categories: Animals, Faith, Gratitude, Growth, Life Lessons, Men, Opinion, Travel | Tags: , , | 22 Comments

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just another plaid-wearin' java-sippin' girl

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