Friday, October 5, 2012

Hoity-toities becoming one with nature … and shooting it!

Tomorrow is opening day of pheasant hunting season for youth in South Dakota. They get first crack at the birds before adult hunters from around the world arrive on the third Saturday of October to put a real dent in the pheasant population. I will be taking the 15-year-old fruit of my loins down to our favorite corn field about 45 minutes from here. It’s a little trade out we have with a rancher where we go down in the spring and help him brand calves and he lets us come down and tromp through his fields in the fall. It’s been good for my boy, Luke, to work the cattle, sweat like a horse, get kicked in the shins by 300-pound calves, and be covered in manure, all for the opportunity to shoot some pheasants. Makes them taste that much better, as if they needed any enhancing. It seems that this generations-old tradition in South Dakota is catching on with some of those you might not traditionally equate with blood-and-guts bullet blasters. The New York Times takes a look at this New Breed of Hunter.
Who is the most famous hunter in America? If you’re over 30, the first names that come to mind are probably Sarah Palin, Ted Nugent or Dick Cheney. If you’re under 30, the answer is easier. The most famous hunter in America is Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook.
For what it’s worth, The Nuge hunts adjacent to our little honey hole in the southwest corner of South Dakota. I’ve talked to him, and if you think his God Bless America/Second Amendment Loving personality is some show-biz shtick, you’d be wrong. If you watch his hunting show, that’s the way he really is. If you see him in concert, that’s the way he really is. He is a wild man, and I really like him. I would like to see a pay-per-view event where Ted Nugent and Mark Zuckerberg hunt pheasant or, better yet, antelope together in southwest South Dakota. I’m guessing their politics don’t jive, but sometimes the love of a 12-guage shotgun or a .243 rifle in the clean Dakota air will heal all wounds, except for those in the animal you eventually put in the crock pot.

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