In memory of my beloved Juno (May 21, 2008 – August 15, 2012)
“Each of us owes God a death.” So I heard Gwynne Dyer proclaim in an episode of his television series War. Death is a reality; it comes for us all. When I was a small boy I did not understand the reality of death. I remember, I must have been three years old and seeing my grandmother with some old baby clothes and toys she said were my aunt Lonny’s. My impression in seeing this was to imagine that people must grow up, then grow back down to being babies again. I asked my mother if this was so and she corrected me, telling me no, people grow, then they grow old and die. She added that nobody wants to die, but everyone has to. I did not really understand what it meant to die and did not give it much thought until I was a little older, maybe five years old when I asked my mother and father “what happens when you die?” They told me “your spirit goes up,” presumably to heaven. I still did not understand and was a little frightened by the prospect, but decided that must be a long way off so I would not worry about it. Continue reading →
Hera after a run on a hot, humid afternoon saw fit to plop down in a muddy puddle rather than kennel up when we returned to the car. She had cooled off in the Rideau River during the run. She looks quite pleased with herself.
“Funny, you don’t look it” is a common response when people learn I am a hunter. Aside from the fact I am gay, I am a gentle and thinking man and people find it hard to believe that I can make the choice to hunt down and kill a game bird or animal. Yes, hunting, unlike my gayness, is an ethical choice I make. It is an ethical choice I keep to myself a great deal of the time as I find I have more venom spat at me for choosing hunting, than for being gay. I chose to conceal the truth of my gayness and my relationship with Mika from most of my hunting buddies (all of whom are heterosexual men and women from a plurality of ethnic and religious backgrounds and generally conservative) until recently, fearing I might lose them as friends and hunting buddies if they knew the truth or at the very least they would be uncomfortable knowing. Turns out they were not bothered in the least and are happy for me, that I am in a long term relationship with Mika. We remain friends and hunting buddies, taking to the field in pursuit of game, enjoying our sport. Everyone who takes up hunting has their own reasons for doing so, but as for me, I have had a lifelong passion for hunting, the outdoors and wildlife. Continue reading →
Got out with my good friends and hunting buddies, Jason and his wife Fran, to check on the trail cameras Jason and I set up the weekend before to watch for signs of wild turkey on the farm we hunt near Spencerville. We brought your dogs, Hera and Nos, along so they could enjoy a run. Nos bumped a grouse on the walk in to the trail cameras and Hera got her first scent of grouse. We found turkeys had been by the cameras one morning during the week that passed. Encouraging, but we want to wait a few more days and see if turkey traffic picks up before Jason and Fran set out for a turkey hunt. A porcupine was seen during the run and destroyed, regrettably, but we cannot risk Nos attacking and getting a face filled with quills again. Jason used the shock collar in conditioning Nos to refrain from attacking porcupines. Later in the run, Nos found a porcupine kid, it was tiny, and did not attack. The porcupine kid was left unharmed, which is what we want. If Nos can be conditioned not to attack porcupines, we will leave them alone. Hera went for a dip in a wooded pond without hesitation. She is fine in the water. She is coming along nicely in her training as a hunting dog. Hoping when we return there will have been more turkeys caught on camera.
On a cool and windy April morning Jason and I took Hera and Jason’s dog Nos to a farm where we have permission to hunt for a run and to introduce Hera to the sound of gunfire. We took the opportunity to scout for the upcoming turkey season, setting out trail cameras to watch to see if turkeys are moving about in the area. As you can see in the video, Hera is not bothered at all by the sound of gunfire. You can see also at six months old she is still very much a puppy as she happily plays with my hat after the wind blew it off my head.