Saturday, May 5, 2012

What am I doing here?

Early May isn't that far removed from the end of bird season unless you take into account the leaves on the trees, the pollen, and the forty-plus degree difference in the temperature outside.  Right now it's as hot as the parking lot in Hell.  Aside from the blooming honeysuckle I'd need a calendar to tell me it isn't July.

But - surprise to me - there are still some guys chasing birds in the US.  Reading a random article earlier this week I saw mention that the season in Alaska didn't end until June.  At the time I felt sure this referred to some type of dog training season, a no-guns except blank pistols window before the birds started nesting.   Curiosity got the better of me and I drifted to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website get to the skinny.

PtarmiganLo and behold in the land of the tundra you can hunt grouse as late as April 30th and ptarmigan as late as June 15.  Wait a minute, if I lived in Alaska I could still be hunting birds?  With a gun?  I could go tomorrow?  

All these years I've been supremely jealous of the anglers around here, what with no closed season and all. Change apparel, change gear, change your underwear once in a while and never stop fishing.  But birds you can only shoot half of the year.  Never mind that the other half of the year you'd kill the dog running him for more than fifteen minutes, it still seemed more than a little unfair.

In Alaska, though, you can hunt TEN months a year. Yes, I understand there are probably a few days in the middle of the season where it might be too chilly to hunt.  Or open the front door.  Still, it gives the idea of pitching life as I know it in favor of the Alaskan adventure some serious consideration.  Maybe I'll stick it in that drawer to be opened near retirement.

I'm not sure if the rest of us should look at this as a consolation for living in such a remote and unforgiving place or one of the rewards for doing something the masses don't have the cojones for.  Or further proof that life in general is one big game of Let's Make a Deal.

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