Thanksgiving Squirrel 2023

Liz succumbed to maternal guilt and we spent Thanksgiving at her folks’. I won’t call out my irritations with specific individuals on a public blog (Thanksgiving – right?), but I will point out my seasonal #4 kill when I snuck out to escape. Huzzah!

Another red squirrel. Not much to eat but they sure are easy to clean.

In related news, I fell back to Big Iron’s original bead sight. When I got the shotgun, I was excited and went a little silly on some modifications, most of which turned out okay. But the choke needed to stay at full mod, and the rifle sights proved to take too long for target acquisition. So, tired of missed shots and slow aiming, I resorted back to what worked for me for 20 years. And shortly thereafter, I landed a perfect instant-kill shot on this little guy’s head and upper torso. I’m once again a killing machine.

And I didn’t kill any in-laws.

–Simon

Squirrel Hunting, Kid Edition

I’ve often joked that hunting is a hobby with a tough selling point to those who weren’t exposed to it in their youth. The pitch starts to sound a little psychotic not far in, for how would one try to convince an associate to join them in uncomfortable environmental conditions with the end goal of killing wildlife? But I’ve also argued that a lack of violent release is part of the problem behind mass shootings. Human physiology hasn’t changed much since the time that we needed to be ruthless for survival, and it won’t just go away simply because we don’t need it. Were that the case, I would have disabled my libido in high school, too. But we can’t so we need to cope.

And it’s also important that anyone who eats meat understands its source and the cost in terms of animal suffering. Life’s a bitch and nature doesn’t favor us any more than the rest of Earth’s creatures. But we should feel a little guilty.

Guilt and violence. Ailments of the human condition.

So I took the kid hunting for these lessons. To my surprise, she didn’t have too big a problem with it. She isn’t old enough herself to kill, so that’s part of it, but she also wasn’t under any delusions and was genuinely curious about the process. Go figure. Dad was right (as in, me-the dad).

The unusual hunting party now consisted of Joe, my dad, and the Kid.

Joe and the kid trying to flush out rabbits without success
An old man contemplating something
Squirrel 1
Squirrel 2

Alas I was the only killer that day.

I can’t find the exact quote, but my overwhelming success reminded me of A River Runs Through It, when the dad compliments his sons’ fish catches and mentions that God had truly blessed them…before laying down his own much bigger fish and commenting that God blesses some more than others.

I win.

Pan-seared. Still the best way I’ve found to cook squirrel.

And the kid wants to go hunting again. Double win.

–Simon

Klenke Squirrel

As is tradition, each squirrel hunt must be documented. And it is of special note that this year’s first squirrel was from the Klenke estate, and the first such squirrel I’ve ever shot there.

It was also a chance opportunity. Harvested with the double 20 that dad gave to Liz, that we took out for her to try. It was also the gun I first hunted with. Ah memories. And a fine heirloom.

–Simon

Mushrooms (Part 3)

Owing to the extensive rain as of late, I have some cool new mushrooms in my yard. So I will attempt to identify them. Here’s what I’ve come up with, after scouring internet images for visual likeness:

Agaricus silvicola
Aureoboletus mirabilis

Both are apparently edible, though I’m not a gambling man. Not until the world ends.

–Simon