I am packing for my first real hunting trip. The kind where you stay in tents and pee in the woods and get really, really cold.
I hunted a few times in high school. My uncle took me dove hunting once in West Texas. They weren't the pretty white doves that get released at weddings. They were brown and slow and not very clever. If you actually shot one, they were pretty good eating.
I am nearly legally blind with severe depth-perception issues, but we didn't know this when I was in high school. My aim was so bad that I'm sure I was more of a threat to my uncle and cousins than I was to the doves. After I got bored with shooting at fleeting specks in the sky, I sat down to rest on a tree stump. When movement a few yards a way caught my eye, I took aim and fired--and to my great surprise and dismay hit a jack rabbit!
I immediately felt great remorse. Putting down the shot gun, I ran to the poor rabbit's twitching body and petted it until it died, tears streaming down my face. It was such a traumatic incident I swore I would never hunt again.
And I haven't. And I'm not shooting at anything on this trip--just tagging along with three excited hunters hoping to each bag an elk. Scout and I are just along for the very long ride to Eastern Oregon.
I will be out of internet, cell phone and flush toilet range for the next four days. I'm taking lots of warm clothes, chocolate, my Bible, a compass and my snowshoes. I expect to have lots of lovely hikes in the wilderness; good times with Scout and Jesus. I will try not to think about the 17 people coming for Thanksgiving dinner, the five feet of standing water in our crawl space, the upcoming craft show I have no journals made for, the article I have to write for work . . .
I'm thankful for all the wilderness survival tips I've been gleaning from Survivor Man and Bear Grylls. Maybe I'll actually get to put them to use this week.
But I have to wonder just how long those guys would last in my crazy suburban jungle?