Thursday, November 27, 2008

Goin' To Hell For Sure?

I first started varmint shooting as a kid. We would skip school, grab our varmint rifles (usually a .22) and head down to the local dump along the Missouri River bottom to shoot the plentiful rats that lived amongst the trash. The dump was a perfect shooting gallery, just like at the carnival. There were different levels and ranges that the furry critters would run back and forth on.

The first time I was slapped on the back for splattering a varmint I felt a tinge of guilt. The giggles and snickers when a rat's head went sailing off or the red mist flying out from a groundhog made me feel kind of bad too. Afterward I wondered if this was what got you into hell? The trigger time made us better riflemen but what was the price we would pay? When you get to the Pearly Gates is this one adventure that is recorded on the "Bad Side" in the ledger of your life?

Fast forward to today and I'm still zinging the varmints that need shooting. Depredation many call it, which means plundering; to pillage [Latin depraedare to pillage]. The ground squirrels here in California do tremendous damage to cattle and horses when they fall into the ground squirrel burrows. Heck, I've almost snapped a leg bone or two due to them dern "squeaks" and their tunnels they have everywhere.

I catch a lot of flack over the varmint shooting videos I post. Many are antihunters or antigunners who rant on with all kinds of name calling and foul language. I'm not so sure about some of the other comments, some may be just folks who drop in on the link not sure what the link is about and they are neither a hunter/shooter or an anti. Shooting animals and giggling about it must appear to be pretty callous to the uninformed. Would a caution or advisory about the varmints being pests before the video rolls help?

Am I going to hell?

One old friend offered another opinion on this catch 22 situation. While at the range during a media event where the outdoor writers were shooting ground squirrels he overheard one old scribe from the south offer that varmint shooting may not get you straight into hell, but you were darn sure to be getting a warm room for doing it.

Lord forgive me, I wonder if they make asbestos in 3XL?


Othmar Vohringer said...

The sad part is that most of the people who complain the loudest about prairie dog hunting, or any critter for that matter, know the least about conservation and habitat. I enjoyed the video. It brings back memories of good times spent in Texas with friends for a day of shooting. Besides the sound conservation it is good target practice too.

Jesses Hunting And Outdoors said...

From my experience I find the same Othmar concerning those who complain about the prairie dogs and ground squirrels. Those that take the time to listen with an open mind eventually see the reason why we shoot them.