Sometimes, on my sunrise runs, I’ll hear too-close for comfort gunshots.
You’re not allowed to hunt in these woods, but people do – when they think they’ll be unseen. I’m not that well read on hunting, but I assume it’s a morning sport – judging from when I hear the proximate firing. It doesn’t bother me, much. Generally, I’ll don a bright red or pink something to make sure I don’t get Bambi sniped. But the way I see it is that even if I do, it’s alright. We’re all gonna die one day anyway, and I literally can’t think of a better place or way for that to happen than when I’m blissfully unaware and doing the one thing I love more than anything else in the world.
(Which feels like this…)
(…but probably looks more like this:)
Still, it’s a little disconcerting to hear those shots at all. Not for my sake, but because here’s this thing that’s got blood and DNA and who feels feels just like you ‘n me. And it’s life’s sentence suddenly gets a period at the end of it – not because you’re starving and need to bring it back to the village – but because you wanna play a game of bullet basketball. I try not to judge. People do what they do. I do what I do. But a couple weeks ago, this was what was going through my mind when I heard distant dudes shooting ducks (which you know from the follow-up context of mass feathers whooshing overhead in your direction, while their avian owners scream, “THEY GOT BILL! OH MY GOD! BLAJLKDFJLK!!1” I may’ve thrown a little mental shade their way, but not much. I finished my run, came home, and forgot about it.
Until I read later that one of the hunters on that same lake that same day had drowned.
For some reason, this personal anecdote was exactly what came to mind today when I read this story about a 70-something year old dude who caught a doe’s dose of comeuppance while trying to hunt it. Li’l homie wasn’t about to use any of your “arrow to the knee” excuses after getting nailed, either. After he got pierced by the old man, he not only survived Scarface style – but came after his ass. Per the news, he’d hunted the deer, struck it with the arrow, and then went back out to stalk the poor bastard. But what he didn’t realize was that he was also being stalked by someone who knew the woods better than him – and who now had a score to settle. “Apparently the man was going through some thick brush and the deer leaped out and went after him,” reported a source – before adding: “The doe struck him in the leg with her head.” A headbutt might sound boring, but I guess it was pretty bad – bad enough at least that he had to be transported outta there in an ambulance. And, you know, I’d say “Good!” or even the more serene phrase of “Revere all life” about both the duck and deer hunters alike. But I feel like that bullet will miss you just like the real ones have done to me on my jogs. So maybe this’ll resonate better:
Regardless of what species they are, never underestimate a perceived enemy.
Or karma, for that matter.