Sunday, like thousands of people in France, I will take my dog out in the early morning. His gaze will be more incisive than usual. He will have understood well before his time that the boots placed in the entrance are not intended for mowing the lawn or trimming the hedge in the garden. He does not ask himself the question of whether what he is about to do is good, bad, if it is his passion, his tradition, his way of clearing his head or of filling a little the tray of his fridge (whatever!).
He’s not going to wonder if the cartridge I’m using is lead or bismuth. Nor will he ask himself if it is Sunday, Wednesday or Saturday. Finally, he does not wonder if running behind a hare has a relation to animal welfare or not. Yes, we hunters ask ourselves all these questions. Because we have a conscience, feelings, that we don’t like to see animals suffer, we are able to take a step back from our act.
Before leaving this morning, I would have taken care to validate my license, take out my insurance and have my shotgun checked with my gunsmith. A few sessions of running wild boar and clay pigeon shooting will have put me back in the mood. It’s true, I forgot for our non-hunting readers, I am able to master my weapon and take into account my environment because I passed a practical exam controlled by state agents. The license to hunt, like driving, is a test.
Once in the field, I’ll have as much fun performing a partridge double as letting a company fly to allow its population to continue to grow. I will enjoy watching this goat parading in front of my dog and following it with my eyes until it enters the woods, but also killing a thrush and a pigeon. I will be happy to pick a boletus or help my friend Jean-Pierre bring in a heifer that escaped overnight. Hunting is first of all putting one foot back in rurality, the concrete, the earthy, the reality of the wild world.
I will be happy to find my friends, congratulate the latest recruit on his baccalaureate or Thierry, the former on his retirement. I will take news of their family, the health of each other. We will open a good bottle of Chablis for a small glass, (not 40), celebrate the opening, around a rillette and good pâtés. Coming home in the evening, my dog will hang out in his diaper for 48 hours, and when I go to bed, I will wake up with some cramps from a day of exertion for my body.
Yes, I hunt, as for my dog since the dawn of time. I like to perpetuate this rite, this relationship between man and animal, this desire for contemplation in this nature, beautiful, often cold and so generous.
From all this, I would have adapted my behavior, my attitude and my ability to listen to a part of the population that does not adhere to my passion, largely due to its lack of knowledge. I would try as much as possible to discover my passion, speaking with openness, pragmatism and calm without stigmatizing the other.
Let’s be happy and proud to be a hunter, live our passion to the fullest but also listen to the humming society. Let’s adapt so as not to lose what is dear to us! Let’s be force of proposal before we are constrained by force.
Have a good and happy hunting season, everyone!