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Hunters Being Hunted

As I drove up, I saw four men, big ones, all dressed in their camouflage gear. My lip curled.

As you probably know by now, I am an animal lover. Therefore hunters and I don't really get along well. The area we live in has been popular with hunters for who knows how long. The reason being, that the population is pretty sparse, and of course there is a lot of wildlife. The sloughs are usually loaded with all kinds of waterfowl. In the springtime, the Canadian geese come, followed closely behind by the swans.

The swans don't nest here, they just stop by to rest and eat some of the plants found underwater. Then they push on, flying up north. They are so beautiful to watch swimming on the water or flying. Its easy to tell them apart from the other geese we have, by the extra long neck. You sometimes see them in the fall, flying south for the winter. And by the way they are illegal to hunt.

We have two kinds of geese here, the Canadian goose of course, and the Snow goose. Both are prized by hunters.

Ducks of all kinds come a bit later, when the temperatures are a little higher and the ice has all gone. I love to watch them when the ducklings are hatched and follow the parents around.

As for game, there is plenty of deer. We also have the occasional bears, moose, wolves, and mountain lion. The last two are rare, and usually come down from the park, located some kilometers north of us. I myself have seen a wolf in the distance, but never a mountain lion.

For some reason I have a deep fear of bears, but nothing else bothers me. Then there are all the smaller animals that run around. That includes, foxes coyotes, skunks, porcupines, and badgers just to name a few. Now you know why we have big dogs, they do help to keep the predators away.

Hunting season for ducks starts usually by the third week in September. Goose season starts at the end of the month. Deer is after the first week in November. This story takes place in the duck season.

One morning I went outside to feed the dogs. I could hear the gunshots, loud and clear. It sounded like a war zone. I shook my head and went inside after taking care of the dogs. About half an hour later I had to go outside again, I forget the reason. I stood still, listening to the gunshots, they had not changed since earlier. I saw red. Those poor ducks!

Next thing I knew, I had jumped into the SUV and was driving towards the sound. I really didn't have a plan, I was just angry. I drove north about a mile, then turned east following the sound of the shots. I saw two vehicles ahead of me, one a pickup and the other an SUV. I stopped beside them and waited. I still didn't have a clue what I was going to say, but I didn't care, they were going to get an earful anyways. I waited and waited. I knew better then to go into the bush, with all those bullets flying all over the place.

Finally, I had waited long enough for my temper to have eased up somewhat. So I decided to write them a nasty note and leave it on the windshield. I looked around for a pen. Blast it, there wasn't one around, I had to go back to the house. I turned around and drove home, found a pen and some paper and drove like the wind back to where I had left the hunters' vehicles.

As I drove up, I saw four men, big ones, all dressed in their camouflage gear. My lip curled. When I had stopped and rolled down my window, they were already waiting. I don't remember exactly what I said but it went something like this; “I don't want you guys ever to come here hunting again.”

They said, “But we have permission to hunt on this land.”

I came back with, “I don't care, don't come back, Ever! Do you understand? Do you?”

They all looked at the ground and said, “Yes.”

I then looked at each one of them and said, “Good, don't forget, I will be watching.” With that I rolled up my window and drove back home in a big cloud of dust.

Ed was waiting for me when I got home. I knew I was in trouble, but I had my heated blood to sustain me. He somehow knew what I had been up to. He said, “What did you do?”

I looked him in the eye and said, “I told some hunters off, and not to come back here.”

It was one of the rare times Ed yelled at me. He said, “It wasn't your business to do that, it wasn't our land and we don't have the right to say anything.”

I yelled back, “I don't care, it was too much.”

We stood there eyeball to eyeball, then Ed turned around and walked away. I did the same. We never brought up the subject again. I knew he was right, but those guys had taken it too far, shooting up everything in sight. But you know, those guys never came around again, so it was worth it. There is one more story to tell, before I finally realized that it wasn't a great idea to go around chasing strange men.

It was deer hunting season this time. I had been driving up that same road that I told about earlier. We had some land that we kept cattle on, and one of the easier ways to get to it, was an access thru a neighbor's side road. As I was driving I saw a vehicle drive out and onto the road. It was about half a mile ahead, so I stepped on the gas. I must have chased that vehicle for at least four miles.

They finally stopped, and one of them got out of the car. He was a young fellow, probably a local, but I didn't recognize him. He was tall and thin, pretty young too. As I walked towards him I shouted, “I don't want you hunting on our land.”

He said, “We weren't.”

I yelled back, “I don't believe you, just don't come around here again.” We looked at each other then he turned around and got back into his vehicle and drove off. Looking back now, he might have been telling the truth, but at the time I was too hot under the collar to listen. (I never told Ed about this one!)

So, I have since simmered down, realizing that it’s probably a dangerous thing to go after people with shotguns. But one good thing has come about from all this. There are not many hunters that come around our place anymore. Oh, there is the odd one that drives in to get permission to hunt, but I soon straighten them out. I think my reputation for being a hothead has gotten around.

I also made a sign and put it up at the front of our driveway, it reads;

NO TRESPASSING
VIOLATORS
WILL BE SHOT
SURVIVORS
WILL BE SHOT
AGAIN!

Since putting that sign out, no one even comes around to ask permission to hunt on our land anymore. Ed just shakes his head.

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