Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Rites of passage

It dawned on me yesterday: It felt like I completed a rite of passage this weekend.

I hunted without my boyfriend/best hunting buddy because he was out of town. I was successful in both the pheasant hunt and the waterfowl hunt. I did all the plucking and dressing alone, for the first time ever. (OK, so I had a few problems with the bile ducts...)

And I had the kinds of conversations a hunter has.

I was on a photo assignment yesterday for a local food magazine, and it turns out the guy I went to shoot was a hunter - had mounted heads and hunting photos all over his store.

Me: What kind of gun is that?

Him: Beretta, 12 gauge.

Me: Hey, I have a Beretta too!

Me: How do you find time to hunt when you run a store like this?

Him: It's hard!

Me: Yeah, it's hard for me, too, and I don't even run a store. Worked hard all last week, then hunted both days this weekend. I'm wiped out.

Him: Well, make sure you don't make it feel like work. Make sure it's fun.
Afterward, I realized, hey, I just had a fellow-hunter conversation with a total stranger! And it felt like I had finally joined the club.

Rites of passage are usually for the young, but I have to say it's pretty cool to go through one at the age of 42. Makes me feel ... young!

© Holly A. Heyser 2007


Anonymous said...

That's definitely cool. I don't hunt, yet, but I've had a few of those types of conversations, where I could reference things from the hunting world. It does make you feel like one of the group.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Definitely. And I took that for granted until I came across a post yesterday on the FS Huntress blog about a woman who really got shut out by the guys on a grouse hunt.