East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

They could have shot you guys!

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Yesterday’s microadventure was a great success. True, my legs feel like lead right now, but I’ve heard from a lot of people that would like to try something like that in these hills, I received suggestions and idea, and all in all it was quite beautiful, and fun.

Hereabouts reactions were a lot more conservative.
“You guys were lucky!” one of our neighbors said. “The hunting season’s open, they could have shot you guys!”
Much hilarity ensued, because I live in the kind of place in which your neighbors think it’d be a hoot should you get shot.
I also learned to some dismay that I evidently look like a boar in an aloha shirt.

And I mean…

I have friends that are hunters.
They have a deep concern for their safety, and the safety of everybody around, and they have a deep respect for their preys.
They love hunting because they love the outdoors and the slow process of stalking the prey. They eat what they kill, and they would certainly take the sole idea of killing something you do not eat (say, a crow or an owl, or a fox) as a personal affront. Often they work with the forestry service to reduce overpopulation or take out sick animals.
And they would never hunt an endangered species, and would consider the idea offensive.
Some of them hunt with guns, others are bow hunters.
I am not a hunter myself, but I can respect them.

Then there’s the local guys, the ones that shoot blind at the first sound, counting on the spread to “catch something”, and that end up killing someone because they happened to be passing by.
Thirty-five people were killed in the 2017/2018 hunting season in Italy, and over eighty were wounded.
That’s crazy.

And then yes, in the end they are quite happy to bag a raven, or a feral cat, or a road sign. Because they like shooting, you see.

But the thing that really got to me about the incident was not the fact that I do look like a boar in an aloha shirt (and my brother probably looks like a pheasant), but that if you go out there for a walk one fine September morning and some dimwit shoots you, it’s your fault.
And your neighbors will have a laugh.

The hunting season puts in a different perspective the idea of going for our next microadventure at the end of September, by night and with a full moon.
They don’t call it the Hunter’s Moon for nothing.
Four or five guys wearing day-glo safety vests and wielding torchlights would certainly be mistaken for hares.
We’ll think of something.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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