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This file includes hunting and guns. I enjoy target shooting but never took to hunting, so much of what I had when I started this site was anti-hunting. However, I have many friends and family members who enjoy hunting so I added poems, quotes and page ideas for them.
A couple of hunters were out in the woods when one of them fell to the ground clutching his chest. After struggling for a few seconds, he seemed to stop breathing. The other guy quickly pulls out his cell phone and dials 911. He gasps to the operator, "My friend is dead! What should I do?"
In a soothing voice, the operator says, "Try to remain calm, sir. I can help you. First, we need to make sure he's dead."
Immediately the operator heard a shot.
The frantic hunter comes back on the line and says, "Okay, now what?"
A group of dedicated deer hunters paired off in twos for the day. That night, one of the hunters returned alone, staggering under the weight of an eight-point buck.
"Where's Henry?" the others asked.
"Henry had a stroke of some kind. He's a couple of miles back up the trail," the successful hunter replied.
"You left Henry laying out there and carried the deer back?" they inquired.
"A tough call," nodded the hunter. "But I figured no one is going to steal Henry!"
The thinking deer hunter should mature through three phases during his hunting life. First phase, I need to kill a deer. Second phase, l want to harvest a nice deer. And last phase, we must manage this resource so our children and their children can experience the grand tradition of good deer hunting.
Poems for Bow Hunters
In light of the rising frequency of human/grizzly bear conflicts, the Montana Department of Fish and Game is advising hikers, hunters, and fishermen to take extra precautions and keep alert for bears while in the field.
We advise outdoorsmen to wear noisy little bells on their clothing so as not to startle bears and to carry pepper spray in case of an encounter with a bear. It is also a good idea to watch out for fresh signs of bear activity. Outdoorsmen should recognize the difference between black bear and grizzly bear poop. Black bear poop is smaller and contains lots of berries and squirrel fur. Grizzly bear poop has little bells in it and smells like pepper.
Number of physicians in the US: 700,000
Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year: 120,000
Accidental deaths per physicians: 0.171
Number of gun owners in the US: 80,000,000
Number of accidental gun deaths per year: 1,500
Accidental deaths per gun owner: 0.0000188
Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners. Not everyone has a gun, but everyone has at least one doctor. Please alert your friends to this alarming threat. We must ban doctors before this gets out of hand.
Remember: Guns don't kill people, doctors do!
A hunter shot a flock of geese
That flew within his reach.
Two were stopped in their rapid flight
And fell on the sandy beach.
The mail bird lay at the water's edge
And just before he died
He faintly called to his wounded mate
And she dragged herself to his side.
She bent her head and crooned to him
In a way distressed and wild
Caressing her one and only mate
as a mother would a child.
Then covering him with her broken wing
And gasping with failing breath
She laid her head against his breast
A feeble honk . . . then death.
This story is true though crudely told
I was the man in this case.
I stood knee-deep in the snow and cold
And the hot tears burned my face.
I buried the birds in the sand where they lay
Wrapped in my hunting coat.
And I threw my gun and belt in the bay
When I crossed in the open boat.
Hunters will call me a right poor sport
And scoff at the thing I did.
But that day something broke in my heart
And shoot again? God forbid!
I Saw a Jolly Hunter
I saw a jolly hunter
In the jolly meadow
Hunter jolly eager--
Jolly hunter jolly head
Bang went the jolly gun.
(Sam Walter Foss)
The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gunless game
The streams and the woods belong.
The sun is slowly dropping
In a serene and peaceful sky
When the serenity is rudely shattered
By a plaintive inquiring cry.
It's the poignant cry of a lonely quail
Seeking his summer's mate,
The mate that has fallen this lovely day
To a sad, ignoble fate.
A short time ago they built their nest
And reared their brood of ten,
Ten lively chicks like balls of fluff
Blown on the summer wind.
At the sound of a shot she came fluttering down
Broken and lifeless to earth,
The man with the gun gave a boisterous shout
And laughed in mindless mirth.
Now he's gone back to his home
To sit and boast to his friends
And I am left with that heart-break call
Drifting hauntingly across the wind.
There is a great poem called The Hunter. It is about a man who returned from war with a different opinion about hunting.
(from "Through Many Windows" by Arthur Gordon)
His father said, "All set, boy?" and Jeremy nodded quickly, picking up his gun with awkward mittened-hands. His father pushed open the door and they went out into the freezing dawn together, leaving the snug security of the shack, the warmth of the kerosene stove, the companionable smell of bacon and coffee.
They stood for a moment in front of the shack, their breaths white in the icy air. Ahead of them was only the vast expanse of marsh and water and sky. Ordinarily Jeremy would have asked his father to wait while he fussed around with his camera, trying to record the bleak arrangements of black and gray and silver. But not this morning. This was the morning, solemn and sacred, when 14-year-old Jeremy was to be initiated into the mystic rites of duck shooting.
And he hated it, had hated the whole idea ever since his father had bought him a gun, had taught him to shoot clay pigeons, had promised him a trip to this island in the bay. But he was determined to go through with it. He loved his father, wanted more than anything in the world his approval. If only he could conduct himself properly this morning, he knew that he would get it.
They came to the blind, a narrow, camouflaged pit facing the bay. In it was a bench, a shelf for shotgun shells, nothing else. Jeremy sat down tensely, waited while his father waded out with an armful of decoys. Light was pouring into the sky now. Far down the bay a string of ducks went by, etched against the sunrise. Watching them, Jeremy felt his stomach contract.
To ease the sense of dread, he took a picture of his father silhouetted against the quicksilver water. Then he put the camera hastily on the shelf and picked up his gun.
His father came back and crouched beside him, boots dripping, hands blue with cold. "Better load up. Sometimes they're on top of you before you know it." He watched Jeremy break his gun, insert the shells, close it again. " I'll let you shoot first," he said. He loaded his own gun with a metallic snap. " You know," he said happily, "I've been waiting a long time for this day. Just the two of us . . . "
He broke off, leaning forward, eyes narrowed. "There's a small flight now, headed this way. Keep your head down; I'll give you the word."
Behind them the sun had cleared the horizon, flooding the marshes with tawny light. Jeremy could see everything with an almost unbearable clarity: his father's face, tense and eager, the faint white frost on the gun barrels. His heart was thudding wildly. No, he prayed, don't let them come. Make them stay away, please!
But they kept coming. "Four blacks," his father said. "One mallard."
High above, Jeremy heard the pulsing whistle of wings as the flight went over, swung wide, began to circle. "Get set," his father whispered.
In they came, gliding down the sunlit aisles of space, heads raised alertly, wings set in a proud curve. The mallard was leading; light flashed from iridescent feathers around his neck and glinted on his ruddy breast. Down dropped his bright orange feet, reaching for the steel colored water. Closer, closer . . .
"Now!" cried Jeremy's father in an explosive roar. He was on his feet, gun ready. "Take him!"
Jeremy felt his body obey. He stood up, leaned into the gun the way his father had taught him. He felt the stock cold against his cheek, saw the twin muzzles rise. Under his finger the trigger curved, smooth and final and deadly.
In the same instant, the ducks saw the gunners and flared wildly. Up went the mallard as if jerked by an invisible string. For a second he hung there, poised against the wind and sun, balanced between life and death. Shoot, said something sharply in Jeremy's brain. And he waited for the slam of the explosion.
But it didn't come. Up went the mallard higher still, until suddenly he tipped a wing, caught the full force of the wind and whirled away, out of range.
There was no sound except the faint rustle of the grasses. Jeremy stood there, gripping his gun.
"Well," his father said at last, "what happened?"
The boy did not answer. His lips were trembling.
His father asked, in the same controlled voice, "Why didn't you shoot?"
Jeremy thumbed back the safety catch. He stood the gun carefully in the corner of the blind. "Because they were so alive," he said, and burst into tears.
He sat on the rough bench, face buried in his hands, and wept. All hope of pleasing his father was gone. He had had his chance and he had failed.
For a long moment his father was silent. Then Jeremy felt him drop down beside him. "Here comes a single. Let's try again."
Jeremy did not lower his hands. "It's no use, Dad. I can't."
"Hurry," his father said roughly, "You'll miss him. Here.!"
Cold metal touched Jeremy. He looked up, unbelieving. His father was handing the camera to him. "Quick," he said softly. "He won't hang around all day!"
In swept a big pintail drake driving low across the water, skidding right into the decoys. Jeremy's father clapped his hands, a sound like a pistol shot. The splendid bird soared, feet retracted, hear raised, wings flailing, white breast gleaming. Then he was gone.
Jeremy lowered the camera. "I got him!" His face was radiant.
"Did you?" His father's hand touched the boy's shoulder briefly. "That's good." He looked at his son, and Jeremy saw that there was no disappointment in his eyes, only pride and sympathy and love. "It's okay, son. I'll always love shooting. But that doesn't mean you have to. Sometimes it takes as much courage not to do a thing as to do it."
He paused. "Think you could teach me how to work that camera?"
Some years ago, on the NBC Today show, I did my first essay on the virtues of hunting. The script follows:
Some of you may have seen the stories of the 'sticks and stones' rabbit hunts which have been put on by the local American Legion post in the curiously named town of Harmony, North Carolina.
The reason for these hunts was that the Legion felt that since the number of hunters nowadays had swelled to such proportions, it was dangerous for the hunters to use firearms--and therefore safer to kill the rabbits with sticks and stones and clubs.
Of course, there has been some criticism of the cruelty of these hunts - which the Legion has answered with the usual pro-hunting arguments--i.e. (1) that such complaints always come from all the 'bleeding hearts' and 'animal lovers' anyway, and (2) that hunting is absolutely necessary to keep down the overpopulation of animals. It is all, in other words, a matter of conservation. Conservation, as the hunters use the word, means killing animals for their own good, but some of the animals apparently are so selfish they refuse to take the long-term view of it.
On the other hand, what the hunters don't seem to understand is that the chief problem isn't the overpopulation of animals--it's the overpopulation of hunters. There are now 15,000,000 hunters in this country. They're breeding like flies and they're overcrowding our farms and our woods and even our highways. And what is needed, of course, is an intelligent, long-term program for the conservation of them.
Halfway measures are simply not enough. All of us, of course, applaud hunting accidents. There has been a nice, healthy increase there. Our own favorite statistic is that an average of five hunters a year are killed by rabbits--in other words, while the hunter was clubbing the rabbit to death with his gun butt, the little rascal moved or something and the trigger accidentally went off and the hunter was killed.
This is good news, of course, but this morning I have some really exciting news for you. It's the story of the formation of a new club--hunters do love clubs--the Hunt-the-Hunters Hunt Club. It's a world wide organization - and it even has its own motto--"If you can't play a sport, shoot one." It has, of course, been criticized by the 'bleeding hearts' and 'people lovers', but it has never proposed, as has been said, the extermination of all hunters. All it proposes, in the hunters' own words, is 'trimming the herd'. It proposes a carefully regulated regular open season on hunters where you and your club-mates, in a carefully regulated, gentlemanly club atmosphere, can have a really first-rate weekend shoot.
Above all, it's an absolutely fair club. Hunters who shoot with a bow and arrow, for example, will themselves be shot with a bow and arrow--and we'll be able to see how truly sporting this form of shooting really is. Trappers will be trapped--humanely, of course--and if they're too small, they'll be thrown back to live and play again another day. Fox-hunters in particular will be glad to know they'll be ridden down by nothing but thorough-bred horses and pure-bred dogs, and members of that branch of the club, hunting fox-hunters, will dress correctly in clean pink coats. There'll be no letting down the bars. However you prefer to hunt, the club asks only that you use your discretion. Please do not, for example, go out and take pot shots at hunters--within city limits, say, or in parked cars, or in their dating season.
Now some members of the Hunt-the-Hunters Club have already complained that hunters do not make good sporty game--that they are inclined to be stealthy and hide behind trees, and don't leap about and jump properly, and are difficult to flush. Also, that they have a tendency to get cross when they are shot at.
Those hunters don't seem to understand that it's all being done for their own conservation--and the club has a special program for them. 'Improving the breed', it's called. This is especially good for hunters who like to hunt animals specially raised for hunting. They themselves will be specially raised--in regular club preserves where they will be hunted only by the kind of people they would like to be hunted by. Again, only in a gentlemanly club atmosphere.
The important thing here, of course, is to get good specimens to begin with - sound of wind and limb with a good head of hair and a good scent. To get these specimens, of course, you need the proper calls. I have here a variety of calls that hunters regularly use. This one is for ducks (demonstrates), this one is for deer (demo), this for quail (demo), and these for two different kinds of varmints (two demos). The Hunt-the-Hunters Hunt Club will also, of course, have calls. The simplest of these--and extraordinarily effective around 6 o'clock in the evening--is (demonstrates cocktail shaker).
Last but not least, the Hunt-the-Hunters Club wishes to make clear that it never countenances going to excess in any way. For example, after you 'bag' or 'take' your kill, don't drape your hunter on your automobile. And when you get home, don't mount the head. Mounting heads is considered, by the club, in very bad taste. They recommend, instead, merely mounting the cap, or the jacket, or perhaps the gun itself. Just use your judgment, and the inherent good taste of all sportsmen.
Finally, there have already been some complaints by members of the club that hunters are tough. This, we can state unequivocally, is simply not true. If you shoot them in season, and season them properly, they can be quite tasty.