The "Rites of Passage" and Deception of A Hunt
by Joe Shelley
Having grown up within an inner city, I thought I had missed out on what people from most rural areas consider "rites of passage" pertaining to the sport of hunting", a ritual event that marks a person's progress from one status to another.
The "rites of passage" pertaining to hunting, is usually administered by a father to a son and usually occurs around the time puberty sets in and is a formality to celebrate the advancement from childhood to adulthood specifically tailored to young males.
I was never given an opportunity to exercise a "rite of passage" ritual or perform a hunt where I would be allowed an opportunity to track and dispatch an animal of the wild. Hence, I was delighted to receive a phone call one day from my friend Tom requesting my presence for such an event.
"Hey Joe," Tom began, "My partner canceled out on me and was wondering if you wanted to go hunting?"
"Sure," I said. "For what?" I added.
"Just for squirrels," replied Tom
"Sure," I said.
Tom picked me up at 6AM the next morning and off we went to hunt for squirrels.
"She's good at stewing them and serves them over wild rice and chestnuts," said Tom
"Who," I replied.
"My wife Shannon," replied Tom
"OH," I said.
We arrived at the hunting site which consisted of a terrain of various pine and oak trees nestled within a shallow valley tucked in the Sierra Nevada Foothills. Tom grabbed a shotgun from the gun rack, handed it to me and instructed me to get on the hood of the truck.
Tom yelled, "If you see a squirrel, shoot at it."
"No problem," I replied.
By the end of the morning, I had dispatched three squirrels and felt I had fulfilled a duty which I should have experienced a long time ago as twelve year old with my father.
"Better late than never," I said to myself and suggested we break for lunch.
After lunch, we headed...