I went out earlier in the week for a shoot, not hunting feral rabbits as per the norm for me, but on this occasion I had ducks in my sights. For so long I've been wanting to make another wild duck risotto like I did last year. Maybe duck a l'orange, or baked breast coved in prosciutto and stuffed with figs or even a simple roast duck served with that wild hawthorn-bush hoisin sauce I made early last Spring. The culinary possibilities seem endless. I'd studied hard for this one, I'd past the official Waterfowl Identification Test and been practicing for the moment. I picked a place I knew would be free of anti-duck shooting protesters. I sat down hidden in the long damp grass, it was quiet and lonesome, a perfect alternative after a long day at work. Even after all the effort, no ducks were shot on this particular afternoon. On a few occasions some Pacific Black ducks flew towards me but they'd get spooked and alter their flight path. I wasn't going to shot unless I was one hundred percent positive they were in range and I could get a clean kill. Although if the stereotypes generated buy the anti duck shooters where actually true I would have shot endless shells in a redneck mindless bloodlust rampage. If your not already aware, duck shooting in Australia is classic black and white argument, extreme passion exists on both sides for and against. Unfortunately that strong passion leads to a dramatic reduction of listening ability on both sides.
I crouched in the long wet grass, my denim jeans soaked in all the wrong places. The hike to my spot was over wet paddocks that soaked my Redwing boots making the leather sticky and catching all sorts of grains, seeds and no doubt unwanted creepy crawly's. Patiently waiting in my natural hide, I had time to think. My mind wandered and raced over the paradox that is duck hunting in Victoria. So many elements to consider. Why don't the duck shooters protest about all the recreational fishing? I mean think about it, native fish living in the wild get killed for a food resource, is not that the same as killing a duck for food? Why do the lobbyist have so much power politically to make the hunting laws tighter and tighter yet commercial intensive chicken farming is totally excepted, where chickens have such a terrible short life then killed. Which is better? I know what I'd prefer to eat. What about all the sheep (mostly young lambs) that die every year in large numbers from predation or even worse from exposure from extreme weather? How can people have such strong passionate views without living in the country and seeing the reality?
I'm happy that the anti-duck shooting lobby has reduced the number of rednecks shooters out there, that is a great achievement. But to continue to have extreme views for any cause is a dangerous thing. Especially illegally protesting at a declared shooting sight, then getting sprayed with pellets and complaining that duck shooting is dangerous and should be banned. If the protester hadn't been on site around many shooters they wouldn't have got shot. Talk about putting your hand in the frying pan!
I read a blog post recently from a well respected fly fisherman in Australia. Fed up with the extreme green movement he stated that he was looking forward to the lights being turned off. How will all these people with extreme views that currently live comfortable lives be when the lights do get turned off? With no other option but to eat meat to keep alive, how will they survive? Will their touchy feely vegan animal love views keep them alive when all the crops are gone? It's an interesting paradox.
With all my time spent on figuring out another unworkable paradox of a mixed up modern world, I hadn't noticed that the wind had picked up, a storm was coming in from the north. It was time to hike back to the Jeep. I got rained on well and truly, the elements reminding me that with all our bickering and debate it's nature that rules absolute.