EVE didn’t get much of a look in over the last few weeks. I have been focused on the opening of this year’s Duck season in my state.
My father is getting to the end of his hunting life, and has seemingly been self-sabotaging his last few seasons. Talking himself out of going, never getting out on time, and making decisions that don’t give him the best chance of success.
I get the impression it reminds him about how his eye sight, hearing, balance and reflexes are no longer anywhere near as good.
The side effect of that however have been my own experiences have been sabotaged.
This year I decided I really needed to focus on my own hunts. If Dad came along, all the better, but my first emphasis needed to be on my own success. I guess that might sound selfish, but it is more of an acceptance that Dad isn’t enjoying it as much.
I spent a lot of time over the last month buying camping gear. It has been more than 33 years since I have been camping, but if I want to get access to some of these far away swamps and lakes I need to be able to stay overnight.
On the weekend before the opening I drove a 700km round trip and scouted out where I would go.
On the opening weekend I did the same 700km round trip – camping by myself on Open eve.
I managed to have everything I needed, enjoyed hot and cold drinks and a hot meal, and woke at 5:20am to the most brilliant moonless star filled sky I think I have ever seen. I also got into the area I wanted to hunt and set up with plenty of time to spare so that I could enjoy the quiet and anticipation.
Dad did come along – but only arrived near my camp on opening time. He called me to ask where I had set up – which was the same I had indicated in SMS 90 minutes before, had told him on the phone the previous night, and discussed in person the previous afternoon. I watched the first couple mobs of ducks pass by – unable to shoot as I patiently spoke to him.
In the end I got a good feed of ducks over the weekend, and my Dad remarked a number of times that he really enjoyed the two days of hunting – almost as if surprised.
I think I first went out with my Dad when he hunted ducks some 35 years ago, and have been hunting ducks with him for 31 years, aside one or two years where there was no season. This year there has been a baton pass – Dad will now go on hunts with me, instead of me going on hunts with Dad.
There were two things that otherwise stood out for me about the weekend.
The first was that camping by yourself just doesn’t feel entirely right or comfortable. (Even for this Hermit.)
The second was the widespread change of tone in the anti-hunting protesters. There are some who have deep anger that the season has not yet been banned – and their social media commentary is full of hate and wishing death on those who disagree with them. They get lots of likes and support for it.
It is not just a Duck Hunting thing – I’ve seen EVE players wish death on other players, seen it in road rage, in fact, just about any sort of disagreement seems to rush head long into hoping death gets involved.
Has society moved so far away from reality that they don’t actually comprehend what death is and means? That they think it is an acceptable reaction?
You hear people say that they cannot comprehend the attacks that were made this week in Brussels, or those in France or the UK or America – or the far more frequent and more deadly attacks across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and so on. I don’t find them hard to comprehend, I am reminded almost daily how barbaric apparently civilised people can be.
Life seems more real and peaceful sitting on the side of a lagoon hunting for your own food. I’m not sure how many more years – if any, that I will get to do it.