Tuesday, January 12, 2010

See? Sometimes, marginal lands yield good results

© 2010 Joshua Stark

I'm still trying to find the time to actually hit the spots I'd like to write about here, as well as get some good ideas compiled. One of my many resolutions this year is to write about an hour per day, and I'm hoping this site will get some of that writing time. One thing I've learned, however, is that writing time takes from hunting (or fishing, or foraging) time, especially if you are 75 years old (at heart) like me. To paraphrase, I'd take a nap at the drop of a hat, and I'd drop it myself.
I currently post to three personal blogs: one here, one at Ethics and the Environment, and one at Agrarianista, where I talk about my house garden and ducks and other things we may try to eat from time to time. However, I very much like the idea here, to blog about marginal places and such, so please bear with me as I get into this in fits and starts.

Last November, finally, I got a few hours and I hightailed it up behind a nameless reservoir to jump some ducks, get some squirrels, and possibly come across a turkey. Well, one outta three ain't bad (.333 batting average, anyone?), and I took one gigantic bushytail with my trusty twenty gauge. It was a tad old, but it still fried up pretty well, considering I did not marinate or brine or 'buttermilk' it, but just fried it in oil previously used for fish. Next time, I'll give it its own oil.

A few weeks later, I took my brother and my nephew up for squirrels and ducks again, and my brother got a nice squirrel, after we all had been outwitted pretty well by some other bushytails. Back up there two weekends ago, and he got a ressy' canada goose. A big, big, probably older bird, we'll see how it cooks up.

My trips this year have given me a serious appreciation for my double gun, a side-by-side twenty gauge from Huglu. Double guns are the best guns for the marginal lands, because when you hit one of these place, you are "meat huntin'", as it had been known when I was a kid. You never know what may come along, and depending on the season, you may get a quick chance at anything from a cottontail or dove up to a mule deer. I've walked with #7 shot in one barrel and a slug in the other, but my most frequent combination is #6 in one and #4 or #2 in the other.

I've also thought of some themes for posting in the future, like perhaps one on feelings of particular game meats folks may have (my wife has an aversion to squirrel, because it's a rodent, and looks and acts the part), and another on the concept of trespass, how it is legally determined, and what gray areas may exist. Please shoot me some ideas for what you might like to read about these marginal lands, their uses, protections, threats and opportunities, and what we may learn and get from these special places.

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