My grandma, Bonnie Rouse, recently showed me a letter she sent in to Ducks Unlimited Magazine in 1986 talking about raising a family of hunters. I found it to be pretty funny and so I figured I would share the letter with the class. This is the full letter, but the printed version was edited down a little to save space.
Do you want to hear another version about the hunting season at a Kansas household for "Closing Time?"
I'm a forty-five year old housewife, an ex-city girl, who never knew the difference between a mallard, a pintail, a woodduck, a dove, let alone a Pointer, a Black Lab, or a 12-gauge or a .22, until I married my hunter twenty-eight years ago. Now the mother of three sons, also avid hunters, I feel I've been through it all.
First, I had to learn to look at a cottontail, that reminded me of the storybook rabbit, with blood-stained fur and limp as a dishrag. I had to do this without throwing up while proud little hunters beamed about their great shots. Then came that cute little brown squirrel that stole most of our walnuts and wound up at our house for dinner one night (not as a guest). But when they brought home the doves, I was heartbroken. I couldn't believe they could eat the dove, a symbol of love. Oh yes, the rule at our house is: you shoot it, you eat it.
Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Josh Rouse.
With election season right around the corner and the GOP candidates debating issues ranging from health care to warfare, I have noticed that one topic in particular seems to strike a chord with members of the Republican party: the environment.
Whether it be in the form of disapproving with the Environmental Protection Agency, refuting the claims of global warming or arguing about the need for alternative forms of energy to oil, it seems to me as though many in the Republican party consider anyone who cares about the environment to be a tree-hugging hippy. However, many of their key constituents care deeply about the environment, and the wildlife in it.
Conservation groups such as Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever and others work to help provide natural grounds for animals to habitate and help their numbers grow and flourish. Without a strong conservation effort for game animals, many prized species that are hunted across the country may very well be extinct today. Despite their efforts, we still can see that there are man-made problems in our environment.
Too much attention is paid to the topic of Global Warming. Research is heavily conducted on both sides to either prove or disprove its existence, so much so that we overlook many of the obvious problems that are right in front of our nose. Whether or not it causes global warming, there can be no doubt that pollution has adverse effects on the environment and its inhabitants. Smog is a great example of this, as is the Gulf Oil Spill. While people debate on whether or not the Earth will get a degree hotter in the next hundred years, real life natural disasters occur all around us.