Friday, September 30, 2005

Man the Hunter

Today the sun just now is hitting the trees outside, giving them an orange glow. There is a fire to the north and smoke from it has drifted up the river valley. It clears a bit at night and becomes heavy again in the evenings. October. Rain is a possibility this weekend and we hope for it.

Wednesday a hunter drove by soooo slowly i knew long before he reached the house, he was ignoring the no hunting signs. The fire has opened the road up to noise and visibility. I can see him coming in his white truck and I am nervous because I'm in the front yard planting a 'weeping plum' I just bought to replace the one destroyed by fire. I am exposed.

So when he reaches the road at the front yard, I raise my hands and lift my shoulders in the"What!" gesture. He sees and stops his truck. "What," he says. At least he reads sign language. I say, "There are "no hunting"signs all along here. It's private property" He says, "Why I've seen forest service signs all along in here. It's forest service." This is so obviously untrue and so obstinantly so, that I reply, "It's private property and if you think it isn't just shoot off your gun and I'll call the game warden, and we'll see whose property it is"

As soon as I have spoken, I wonder at my words. Why am I challenging a hunter who has a gun and an attitude. I feel like I'm channeling Richard, or something. He's the one who usually mouths off to them. But it is too late. The words have been spoken.

But fortunately he is a harumpher, not a gunman. "When you arrest me, he says, we'll survey this place and just see whose property it is."

Now we are moving into the realm of ridiculous. He starts his truck, and yells a last rejoinder, "You people don't know shit about where your property is" and he drives off, thinking, I suppose, that he has won an argument.

I have to laugh at the absurdity of it all and at my participation it in. I go to my neighbors and get the matertials to make the signs we have been talking about, telling road hunters, that the next 2 miles are private property and no hunting.

Dealing with these guys is always a tricky business as their testosterone is up and they can get righteously angry. Richard stopped some bow hunters from going on his property and they said they were going to call the NRA about being told they couldn't hunt. Testosterone seems to put the rational mind to sleep, provided there was one. They come from the nearby cities, dressed in chamoflage although they seldom get out of their trucks. They drink beer and ride shot gun in the back which is against the law. They drive deep on back roads until they get to where they don't think man has been before--except for the road. And just when they think they are way beyond civilization, they see a grandmother planting a fruit tree in her front yard, telling them there is no hunting. It kind of ruins the drama of the wilderness man alone with only his gun and truck to protect him.

This year has had heavy hunting. The hunters come to burns because there is no cover for the deer. Indeed I haven't seen deer around my place nor have there been bears, but 3 bucks have been taken near here anyway. Sad.

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