A Seven Days Editor Confesses his Oft-Taboo Passion | 20/20 Hindsight | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Arts + Life » 20/20 Hindsight

A Seven Days Editor Confesses his Oft-Taboo Passion

by

comment
screen_shot_2015-11-04_at_3.04.09_pm.png

Originally published November 7, 2007

I must have been 8 or 9 years old when my father bought me my first Daisy BB gun. Just holding it made me feel trusted, and more grown-up. Initially, I’d come home from school and spend the evening after dinner in our cellar. Lying prone, plugging a cardboard box with mini-musket balls, I talked to myself and imagined a real hunt. I learned how to exhale and hold it, to steady a shot. I learned to respect the business end of a gun. I learned how to be alone.

Daisies in hand, a friend and I would spend entire days on his family’s dairy farm. As we struck out in the morning, often in full camouflage and black face paint, the creeks and ponds opened up a new world to me. It was always there, crouching and silent. But I needed to listen for it to come alive.

I witnessed the grace of bounding deer, the speed and backward dart of crawfish, the song of migrating birds, and the crafty silence of a weary turkey. I watched sportsmen bring them home after successful hunts, in awe of the ability to understand and capture these creatures. I sat around the dinner table and heard tales of their demise. I listened to all this, and learned.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Killer Instinct"

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.