by L.A. Kohl
(Published in the Wed. edition of the Northern Boone County Bullseye, Jan. 19 '05, Vol. 1, No. 13)
Here in our backwoods home, with our oodles of kids – we’ve sometimes been labeled such things as redneck, hillbilly or part Amish. It’s all just fun-loving bantering from friends and family who know us well...but sometimes I’m afraid as the years go by, we seem to be growing more and more likely to live up to those labels. So, for this article, allow me a little lighthearted jesting!
I read with a hint of humor an article in a previous “Bull’s Eye” edition about how the Missouri Department of Conservation was establishing a “hand-fishing season." It instantly reminded me of one of the “redneck” type conversations my husband and I had just a few weeks prior.
He had just returned from beginning a small farm survey job on the edge of Columbia. In the midst of telling me about the site, and the funny neighbors he had encountered (he meets all types,) he happened to mention that he could have caught a turkey bare-handed, if he’d so desired. It seems that he had unintentionally spooked up a turkey near a fence row, and in her confusion and shock, the hen just kept floundering and throwing herself into the fence, making no progress in her escape. It was then that the “redneck” side of me came out.
I asked in half seriousness, “Why isn’t there a hand-hunting season?”
It makes perfect sense to me. We’ve got all these outdoorsy, hunting and fishing type guys around here who I think would jump at the chance to prove their “prowess” by catching something by hand. The Conservation Department could set aside an entire week just for them – anything they could catch bare-handed, they could keep. I suspect some guys would go after simple things like bullfrogs, while others would get extreme and try for a big, strutting tom turkey, or a 12-point buck. Move over, Daniel Boone, here come the Missouri hand-hunters!
It reminds me of a story a boy told to our Jr. High history teacher (I won’t mention how many years ago that was.) He came in to our class one day, bragging about someone he knew who had been out deer hunting. Supposedly, while this guy was in his deer stand, a deer somehow managed to walk directly underneath him without him being able to get a shot at it. Once under the stand, the deer just kept standing there. What’s a red-blooded, he-man hunter to do? Why, jump onto the deer’s back and slash its throat, of course! It was an extremely preposterous story, and considering the source, undoubtedly a fabricated one. Nonetheless, it goes to show that maybe I’m not the only “redneck” around who has ever considered the possibilities of hand-hunting!