I’m Goin Huntin
I have always thought of myself as being fairly self-sufficient, although my husband disagreed strongly. Maybe some would call me an adventurist, in an odd sort of way. Living in the city does not require survival skills.
My neighbors in those wonderful mountains were so resourceful; they grew a lot of their own food and many of them hunted for their meat. It was not reserved for those who had limited income, but just a way of life. Gosh, maybe with a little practice, I could be a hunter, as well.
I loved animals, but I wondered what I would do if a serious invasion of some sort caused me to have to fend for myself. Don’t laugh, I am serious. I’m not talking about aliens, you know, just enemies of some sort. We did not own a rifle or shotgun and forget about a bow and arrow. Hah!
The local people spoke about squirrel gravy. Yes, I am talking about those cute little creatures running up and down the trees. Kind of like the Chipmunks, or at least closely related. Gosh! Who would think there would be enough meat?
My husband did own a 357 magnum. One time when he was away and my son was at his friend’s for the weekend,so I thought I would go out behind our property and try some of my shooting skills. I didn’t have any! Now remember, I was not aware of the hunting seasons, or the proper clothing to wear. I thought, “How hard could it be to shoot a small gun?” Not a problem!
I didn’t want to tell anyone what I planned on doing because they already thought I was incapable of making any decisions on my own. I was, even if they thought I wasn’t. I was just a little curious by nature. So with my most earthy toned clothes on, I went out behind the house and into the woods. I had never had the gun in my hands before except to move it from one place to another, but it seemed simple enough.
It was in the fall of the year and there was a creek running through the woods and pine trees everywhere. It was so quiet. There was an old dead tree that I thought would be a good target, so I got the gun out of the holster and tried to shoot my first shot. That darn gun didn’t even work! I looked at it over and over and even looked into the end of it to see if anything was in there. Duh! Can you see where this is going?
I finally figured out that it had a safety thing-a-ma-bob that kept you from shooting yourself. I aimed for the tree and pulled the trigger. It made the loudest and scariest noise. I ran to the tree to see where I had hit and I didn’t see a hole anywhere, so I stepped a few steps closer and shot again. Still no hole in the tree! One more time.
I was getting use to the noise, but I had not considered the neighbors. They were hunting close to our homes all the time; so why couldn’t I? Then I saw a squirrel running across the grass and I figured it was close enough to hit. When I fired the fourth time I was aiming right at that squirrel, but he would not stay still.
I fired once again and then, all of a sudden, I heard someone yell, “Who the He__ is shooting at me?” Dang! I wasn’t trying to shoot a person, just a squirrel. I yelled back who I was and what I was doing. He was so rude! He kept yelling at me, all kind of foul words, as he came running in my direction. When he got up close, I saw that it was a man; I thought I had seen on our road surveying the property lines. He was so mad.
As I tried to explain what I was doing and why, he told me he had heard all about me and my foolish notions and crazy antics. Well! I never! How could he know about me when he didn’t even know my name? So much for shooting my supper! I should have shot him in the behind, since he was being such a toot.
My husband was out of town, as usual, so I didn’t figure he would be the wiser. He never found out, but that was a miracle since the surveyor blabbed about it to a few people. So when I was shopping in the grocery store, one of the ladies came up to me and informed me that she had heard about what happened and I should know, you had to have a permit to shoot a gun and another permit to hunt a squirrel.
It was just behind my house, not in a public area. Why,
people always were getting so eager to know my business was a mystery to me. Well to end this story, I’ll tell you I tasted some of their squirrel gravy and it was gross, so I’m glad I didn’t hit one.
Lesson is: Know what the law is and when and where you can shoot. Also, in my opinion, find out if it is OK to maim someone who thinks he is such a know-it-all and a blabber mouth. Hope he is one person who doesn’t read this story. I didn’t know his name, so I guess I’m safe.