Off Topic – Open Season

This off topic post is for TurAmarth.

There was no EVE played this weekend, instead I made a 600km round trip to hunt with my father on the opening of our 2014 Duck Season.

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I wasn’t expecting to do well due to poor conditions in the region, but I ended up getting my bag.  My wife was pleased as the freezer was empty of Wild Duck.

There’s a long tradition of hunting in my family – more than 100 years that I am aware of across just the last three generations, and I am pretty sure much longer.  I have a leather gun belt from my Grandfather which is 65 to 70 years old.  The bag I usually carry a drink and snack in came from my Father, and was used by him when he served in Vietnam.  That makes it some 45 or 46 years old.  The gun is the first 12 gauge my father gave me, a somewhat inexpensive at the time Model 500 SKB Under and Over.  I’m still using it after 29 years.  Some of the plastic decoys in my spread are over 25 years old.   Even this particular location has history to it – my father regularly hunted here when he was a boy, half a century ago.

I cannot adequately put into words the significance all these connections have for me.

My observations reminded me again this weekend that I won’t have my father’s company in the field for all that much longer.  Physical issues related to his age mean he can’t shoot as well as he wants.  My own son won’t be able to hunt for another 3 years, but I’ll aim to have him start to join me this year.

Funny how this aspect of who I am and how I was raised did not translate into liking the act of hunting in EVE!

One last comment on this somewhat getting to know your blogger post.  For some years now we have had to use non-toxic shot.  The general replacement for lead has been steel shot.  My gun is not proofed for Steel, so I instead use the far more expensive and somewhat hard to find Bismuth shot.  Every time I pull the trigger it costs me around $3.  I could easily just buy a new gun, but I really do place a lot of importance on the history and tradition.  I also have to admit that I have been a much more successful hunter since I started using Bismuth.  When you use something so expensive you really, really concentrate on making every shot count.

6 thoughts on “Off Topic – Open Season

    • I’m in the Australian State of Victoria. There are similar seasons in the states of South Australia and Tasmania. Over the years it has been banned in the other states where they had regular seasons – usually pushed by the minority Green parties when they hold the balance of power.

  1. I thought it might be Australia. There hasn’t been a spring duck hunting season in Canada (or as far as I know anywhere in North America) since I was a kid and that’s been a while.

    But since our spring is your fall maybe I should have asked if you have both spring and fall seasons down under.

    • It has been a single ~12 week open season starting mid-march for as long as I can remember. Farmers can get special permits to cull problematic ducks at different times of year. This is mainly around when they plant rice crops, and while it happens in my State, it is a much bigger thing in New South Wales where they banned the open season.

  2. So basically you hunt using faction ammo because you don’t have a T2 gun? 🙂

    Also I have to admit that you look much more youthful than I had expected in that picture. Take that as a sign of aging well…

    • That is a perfect analogy. 🙂

      Maybe we have stumbled across a huge fashion secret – that camouflage makes you look more youthful? I’m about to head out on the morning school run in my dad like shorts, t-shirt and balding head on display. I look every bit of my 41 years of age!

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