Hunting season and the usual rambling

As I sit in my office this morning, I have been watching pickup trucks drive slooooowly up my road all morning looking for someplace to hunt. They get to the end of our road, realizing there is no open land up here and turn around. It’s a public road, so I can’t whine about them driving back and forth all day, but I wish I had a right to put a sign at the bottom of the road that says “no place up here to hunt – don’t bother…”  It’s the norm for hunting season, but a little aggravating.

There have already been 2 accidental deaths in Vermont (one right in my town). One was with two young guys out hunting. They had separated and one shot and killed the other, his friend. It’s the most common type of hunting accident – pulling the trigger before you identify your target. The 2nd was a mother who shot her son in the foot while they were hunting. There is no excuse for these accidents. I know a lot of very responsible and respectful hunters. Early in the season, though, it is sadly not uncommon for some trigger happy idiots to just shoot at whatever is moving –  your friend, your son, whatever…

When I lived in Dutchess County (NY State) there was one season with two awful accidents. One was, again, two friends hunting together. One had a great plan for hunting!. He dressed like a deer so the deer wouldn’t be afraid of him. He wore carhartt overalls (tan colored) and a white scarf. He was shot by his friend. Before he died, he made a statement to be try to ensure that his friend did not get charged with his death – something like “stupid me, I was dressed like a deer”.

The other was much more criminal. Two men without legal status to be in the U.S. that had drive up from NYC were hunting on private property, without permission and with some kind of big guns that are totally illegal for hunting. So that’s a pretty bad setup. To top it off, one of them accidentally shot and killed the land owner, who was also out hunting on his property.

When I moved out of NYC in 1999, I had to get used to hunting as it was common where I lived. I even ended up dating two men who hunted and really learned a lot about it and changed my attitude about hunting. I even learned to make a fantastic venison stew from The New Basics Cookbook (lucky me with a juniper bush by my house!). So don’t misunderstand my rants – it is not against hunters or hunting, just against dangerous idiots.

One thing we love about hunting season is the Hunter’s Breakfast from 5-10am Saturdays and Sundays for weeks and weeks at the local church. By 8am it’s just our friends and neighbors all going (the hunters are already up in their tree stands) and very sociable and fun. But this year, it’s too sad to go because one very beloved young man in our town, Luke Palmer, died in a car accident right in the middle of the village on Wednesday. He is always there at the breakfasts with his parents and also at Spaghetti suppers, etc. Luke is autistic, but very high functioning, very loving and challenges us to percieve our world a little differently. I have been getting to know him since we moved here and have always looked forward to learning more about his world from him. Here is his obit, which says a lot about him and how he affected so many people’s lives.

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