I did not write on the Saturday – it is a day when the majority of our group arrives and we have a lot of work, fun and a party to celebrate the annual reunion. I was working with my Father early in the morning when we realized we needed supplies and I decided to make a quick run to town – it would be the last time I would see civilization for 8 days.
We drive 13 kilometers on a closed logging road. You could drive a car, depending on the condition of the road. It’s an awful mess in winter that even a four-wheeler (ATV) would struggle to navigate. I carry an unloaded shotgun with me on this road (as many do) in bird season. When I get to pavement I lock and store the gun, go to town and unlock it once off the road again. It must be unloaded in the vehicle – this is acceptable because we are not officially on a road.
On my way into town I saw a partridge. It takes a few careful moments to stop, get out, load, aim and shoot. I was successful.
The attached video DOES NOT show the bird.
When you harvest a partridge, you “clean” it immediately. It’s a dirty job – there are no knives involved, simply your hands and eyes to guide you. Sometimes I find this easy, other times it is very difficult. I generally find it more difficult to clean a bird than a moose. A moose feeds so many of us so often – a bird seems like a much more extravagant harvest. 1 life for 1 meal for 1 or 2. I find a bigger guilt associated with fowl than larger animals for this reason.
As I drove down the road I felt queasy (I am bound to be teased for writing and sharing this :)). I shot a brief video trying to capture that moment – one of the tougher moments of the hunt for me. This was shot within minutes of harvesting the bird (which is currently in our freezer):
I know that some may have a problem with the word “respect” associated with killing an animal. It is something I debate a fair bit – I know many hunters (including myself) who would claim to respect and/or even love the animals they hunt. I also know many farmers who would lay claim to the same of the animals they rear. Can one really love something it hunts? These are questions I’m not sure that there are answers to – but they certainly make me think and am conscious of them.
Saturday night was a party before the hunt began Monday morning – stay tuned for the day by day…