Strange Hunting Stories and Events - June 2002
Quacks on the Water
Anti-hunters in Washington state attempted to disrupt the waterfowl season opener at the Crescent Lake Wildlife Area south of Monroe last October. They brought along a seven-foot-tall yellow duck decoy, clarinets and shotguns?which they fired in a steady barrage?to prevent legitimate hunters from taking any ducks. Did their plan work? Not exactly. Migrating ducks hadn?t shown yet because of the mild weather and neither had the duck hunters. The antis did, however, put on a magnificent display of unsafe gun handling by peppering a number of pheasant hunters in a nearby field with shot.
As for looking like fools: Mission accomplished.
by Frank Miniter
Standing between men wearing combat boots and holding M-16s and watching an airport security guard rob my shaving kit of its nail clippers, I wondered where firearms fit into an America at war with a ruthless, invisible and evil enemy. Will the public approve of firearms more or less?
The National Guardsmen to my left probed the camo jacket in my open bag and asked, "What are you going hunting for?"
"Moose," I answered.
Both National Guardsmen shook their heads and smiled. They approved.
Then, as the airline employee threw my clippers into a bin overflowing with hundreds of other shiny implements of hygiene, I looked around and noted that many people were eyeing the Guardsmen with a mix of awe and assurance. They approved.
Walking to my gate I remembered that when I checked in, the airline attendant who took my rifle didn?t even wince; she just said, "It?s not quite business as usual, but you can still fly with firearms." She didn?t disapprove.
Boarding the plane I knew that across the country gun sales had jumped for several days after the terrorist attacks. That K-Mart had pulled all of its firearms for a few days. And that before the ashes had settled in Manhattan, commercial pilots were standing before Congress asking for sidearms. So as I went down the aisle in search of my seat and looked around for suspicious characters, I thought I would have felt safer if those bills pending in Congress had been passed, and those gentlemen in uniform up front were packing. Then I wondered how the rest of the nervous faces around me felt: Would they approve?
"My Dog Shot Me"
by J.R. Absher
A Washington state waterfowl hunter will likely have second thoughts the next time he deprives a dog of its goose-retrieving responsibilities. While hunting from a boat in the Columbia River last October, Michael Boyle put down his gun and leaned out to grab a dead goose. That?s when the dog shot him. It stepped on Boyle?s 12-gauge shotgun, which went off. After the steel shot was removed from his leg, Boyle spent the next couple of days reflecting on his actions in an East Wenatchee?area hospital. At present no charges have been filed against the dog.
Mary Queen of Carps
Anglers in the United Kingdom have lost their king?of trash fish, that is. His name was Mary and he was a carp. He resided in Wraysbury, Berkshire, and was named for the girlfriend of the first angler who caught him in 1987. All of 56 pounds at his peak weight, he had his own fan club, whose members longed to catch him with their cheese balls and tiny hooks. (Stop laughing. They don?t have any bass or walleye to speak of. Carp is their warm-water fish.) By 1996 Mary had become the biggest freshwater fish of any species to have grown naturally in the wild in Britain, but poor Mary had a weak heart, and was found belly up at the tender age of 29.
For all of Mary?s heft, he was nowhere near being Britain?s oldest carp. That claim goes to Raspberry, a female living in Redmire Pool, Herefordshire, who is believed to be at least 60 years old.