Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wild Game Hunting with Jilly

When you travel and expand your cultural horizons, you learn a lot of lessons.  I am not an exception to this rule, however, I learned lessons that I did not expect.

I am a super market, Costco kind of food provider, so it is interesting to me to know people who hunt.  I actually envy them.  The thought of someone in my family actually providing food for us without a trip to the grocery store is empowering.  Alas, being raised in a somewhat metropolitan suburb, hunting is something that alluded my husband and I growing up.  We tend to live vicariously through all the teenage young men we know and their dads.

BUT...on this trip, I learned that I am a pretty good hunter.  After all, it takes real talent to kill animals without even trying!

I have never hit anything with my car.  Ever.  Well...okay...some bugs, but they don't count.  I mean that no human or animal have ever touched the front of my car, while it careened toward them at high speeds.

Until West Virginia....

Before I go on, I need to say that I was doing pretty well, because judging by all the roadkill on the sides of the roads in Missouri and West Virginia, every other car was hitting something!  I had not hit anything!  Not even close.  Not even a raccoon, which, according to their population of corpses on the roadside are either the dumbest or slowest animals in the country.  (maybe both!)  So, I should have suspected that sudden death was lurking just beyond the next highway turn.  I was due.

West Virginia is the most beautiful state that I have been to outside of Hawaii.  So, there I am...driving along, enjoying the gorgeous view of the green, green mountains and untouched nature surrounding me, when it happened.  My friend, Karri made a slight move in her super sleek new car ahead of me and I thought she was just testing her new precision steering.  But, upon closer examination, there seemed to be something lolling in the roadway.  I might add at this time that while West Virginia is extremely lovely, their highway laws are ridiculous.  At any given time I have been on their highways, I have shared the road with approximately, 4 other cars, and still they have a 55mph speed limit!!  EXCEPT on the stretch of road we happened to be traveling at the time this story took place.  At that time, we were traveling a stretch of 70mph highway.  But, I digress...

So back to the story: something is in the middle of the highway lane and as I come closer, I can see it is some type of woodland creature.    A sort of sasquatch, giant squirrel-rodent-thing.  As I approached it, I tried to slow down, but my other friend, Yvonne was behind me.  And OF COURSE at this time, the normally deserted highway has cars surrounding me on all sides, so swerving is not an option!!  As I got closer to the fuzzy obstacle, it stopped and met my eyes with great fear...and he FROZE in one place.  THANK GOODNESS, because this allowed me to aim my car right over him so I would miss him completely.  This would have been the perfect measure to save the rodent's life, but at the last minute, he darted....and I hit him.  In my rearview mirror, I saw him tumble in front of Yvonne's car, as she narrowly missed him, and off the road.  I spent the rest of the drive mortified, even though the teenage boy in my car espoused my great aim!  

I spent the following week at Regent University where I did not need to drive my car, and therefore, spared any other wandering forest animals.  But...on the way home....I was unintentionally on the hunt again.

I had made it within 3.5 hours of home without mangling any other mammals.  That is when I switched to bird hunting which takes real skill.  I wasn't wasting my time with big birds like ducks, geese, pheasants, emu's....I was after more of a challenge...SPARROWS!  

I know we have all played Driving for Birds before but usually at the last moment, the bird excels upward and avoids impact with the car.  Birds tend to save real impact for more demanding objects, like sliding glass doors.  But not yesterday.  Yesterday, as I drove through a swarm of sparrows, one was a little too slow.  Ugh.  It was quite tragic.

Because I had become such an excellent markswoman on this cross-country jaunt, I actually employed quite  complex hunting proficiency.  I didn't just plow over the bird, I exercised real competence.  I first hit the poor, winged creature with the lower part of my windshield and bounced it to the hood of my car, where its remnants can still be viewed, and then trounced it with my wheels, where I left the bird flailing in the middle of the road for the next car to barrel over.  

While I admit my hunting prowess seems to have been taken to a higher level on this trip...before this, my hunting only included trying to find organic apples in a regular grocery is not a pastime I would like to continue.  I found myself sympathizing with the animals, and also feeling guilty and wasteful that I did not eat what I hunted.   And also, cleaning my car after using it to hunt is really gross. (I also think that my mouse experience in the Kentucky hotel..see previous blog post..may have been payback)

So, from now on, I intend to use a gun to hunt animals.  

I just need someone to hold the wheel while I aim out the window!

**This blog post brought to you by Dodge.


Shirin said...

Oh my! What was the squirrel rodent thing?! You have to know! And have left me wondering.... and remembering to look both ways before I cross the street!