Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sh*t I Don't Understand: Hunting
I'm not sure if I even want someone to enlighten me on this or not, but I just don't get the appeal of hunting. Hundreds of years ago? Sure. It was the only way to survive unless you lived in an area conducive to farming and could grow your own food. But in this day and age? Not so much. It baffles me to see these dudes who are gung-ho, can't-live-without-it about hunting. Now, it's not the killing of animals that really bothers me, I don't want to get anyone thinking that's the direction I'm going with this. There are areas where certain animals are overpopulated and hunting does a service to the ecosystem, and at least in this country hunting is regulated pretty well, so rest assured I'm not going to harp on moral grounds here.
No, my thing is, I just don't see how in the hell hunting is considered fun. Let me get this straight. I'm going to drive out to the middle of nowhere. I'm going to throw on some orange just in case Dick Cheney is around. I'm going to sit my ass up in a tree or face down in the middle of the weeds somewhere, oftentimes covered in some semblance of animal urine to give off the right scent. And then I'm going to....wait. And then I'm going to wait some more. I remain there and stare at nothing until, if I'm lucky, an unsuspecting deer prances by or a flock of geese fly within the range of the gun I probably paid an embarrassing sum of money for. And if I'm not freezing my ass off by that point I'll aim, fire, and hopefully be the proud owner of a nice fresh carcass that I can mount on my wall at home and use to creep people out. This is best-case scenario, by the way. You talk to people that hunt a lot and it's not uncommon for them to take these big ass hunting trips, come back empty-handed, and still somehow rave about how great of a time they had.
Oh hell yeah, that sounds like my ideal getaway, let me tell you. 36 holes at Pebble Beach, or three days of that previous paragraph repeated over and over? Wow, talk about your all-time dilemmas. Where is the sport in hunting, anyway? That's why I doubt I could ever get into it; if there's no ball it's tough for me to consider something a sport. If you're hunting with a bow and arrow, that's one thing. But you see these guys go hunting with these new high-tech guns so they can go out and shoot some oblivious primate in the back of the neck from 50 yards away? Way to go there, pal. What an act of competitive skill that is. That must have been so difficult, why don't we just tie the damn thing to a tree for you next time while we're at it? Considering that a real accomplishment is like rooting for Arnold in the first few scenes of The Terminator before Kyle Reese shows up.
And above all else, you gotta get that picture with the dead animal and you giving a big thumbs-up, or you holding the thing up by the antlers or some other dignity-robbing pose - because you know you gotta show that shit off to all your friends at your regular Mensa meetings down at Cabela's. "Aw man, look'er here at that dang stag our here boy Earl done bagged himself! Ain't he some heckuva feller?!" What cracks me up is that nobody else does this in any other hobby. I sure as hell didn't have John I take a picture of me and the loaded bar after the first time I benched over 300. And if I ever make a hole-in-one, I doubt it will cross my mind to have someone take a picture of me kneeling and pointing at the ball in the cup.
Yet hunting is a lifestyle for thousands and thousands of people out there. I guess a lot of it has to do with how and where you were brought up and what was presented to you as "fun" from a young age, but I can't just write it all off to that. Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but I'm guessing a lot of hunters just love it because it's one of the only ways to get away from their wives for more than 20 minutes. OK, it's definitely the cynic in me. But I know you were nodding your head, don't deny it.