My dad is a hunter. More specifically, he’s Carl – the Wildlife Slayer.
We grew up on Bambi Burgers, Wild Turkey Soup, and Squirrel Surprise (the surprise being – oh rapture – you’re eating a squirrel). Our living room looked like the Cabella’s show room: an it-really-was-this-big-here’s-the-proof fish, a pheasant gliding over the tv, a growling deflated bear over the couch, and the glassy eyed front third of a couple of ungulate mammals sprouting forth from the walls. I remember asking my dad once where the other two-thirds of the deer were, and after I checked the adjacent rooms for deer tush, he revealed I’d probably eaten a good portion of it and the rest was in the downstairs freezer.
Much the opposite of what you might expect, I’ve never fired a gun. Till last weekend. I was at my in-laws and there was some down time before Easter dinner and I couldn’t think of a more appropriate time to give it a shot (ba-dum-ching!). Those targets had been giving me the stink eye, the tumbleweeds were tumbleweeding, and it was high noon to give ’em what-fer. Actually, I was terrified, I’m on the tiny side of the spectrum, and in my mind a .22 would blast a hole through my shoulder with it’s massive recoil, blacken my eye with the scope and blow my front teeth into my throat. I can picture my dad closing his eyes and shaking his head with an exasperated sigh and suppressing a face palm, but I can legitimize incisor paranoia- you’ll have to consult my sister for that sorted story.
Hub’s dad went over the basics (the end with the hole points away from you and others, ready your stance, line up the cross hairs and be Annie Oakley). I watched him go first, the noise was minimal, but echoed satisfyingly around the farm, and the gun didn’t turn around and smack him in the face, so I was pretty sure I was safe. I tried sitting in the chairs to shoot, hunched over to support my elbow for balance, but my legs are so fruity short I curled up like armadillo roadkill. Besides, splaying out on the grass is way grittier. I lined up my first shot, reminding myself to breathe. There’s the reality of how I looked, but I swear when that little target when zhizzing around with a twankle I felt like this:
The hair swirling in the wind was accurate though. We moved back 10 or so paces- after my raging success at a closer range- and wouldn’t you know: hurricane force, palm tree snapping, bellowing cow flying winds foiled most of our attempts at the target after that.
Either way, I made that target cry for it’s metal mama, and got a super adrenaline rush thumpeting around my innards. Someday I’ll have to try something with a little more kick-in-the-britches-bang, but for now, I am content to rule the fields as Becshot, Dead Eye Extrordinairess.