We Only Shoot the Old Bachelors

Reader Contribution by Joan Pritchard
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Took a little trip to watch the cranes in Nebraska and it gave me an o

pportunity to talk about game birds with my brother-in-law while in the car.

I like to think I am a reasonable person about hunting in general, becoming mildly obsessive only if I think it foolish or wasteful.  I eat venison, for example, but deer practically knock on the farm house door.  I don’t however, allow bird hunting.  I think it is wasteful and unfair to my endangered birds.

So, on this trip, I brought up the subject of turkey hunting, which this particular week seemed to coincide with the breeding season.  It didn’t seem fair to me to shoot turkey at that time.

So, I asked my brother-in-law, we’ll call him Charles, why would the state allow a hunt during that time.

“Well, he answered, “it’s only the males we’re allowed to shoot.”

I cast my eyes upon him with a look of incredulous doubt.  “I think that’s my point,” I responded.  “They’re MATING.  It’s not right to shoot them.”

He gave me a sheepish grin.  “Ah, you don’t need to worry.  We only shoot them after they have mated.”

“Ahhh,” I nodded with understanding.  “And how do you know if they’ve mated?”

He grinned again.  “Not to worry,” he said, shaking his head negatively.   “If there’s any doubt, we only shoot the old bachelors.”

We keep him in the family only because we’ve grown so attached to him.

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