Kickass, the doorstop dog, joined the keeper in noting that the usual pair of mourning doves was absent from the bird-feeder this morning, and, of course, wondered immediately if it could be related to yesterday’s opening of the dove hunting season, which generated all kinds of jumbled thoughts about hunting, all of them mired in the muck both he and Kickass, endure in the agonizing climb up Darwin’s rickety stepladder.
People are predators, the keeper says, and if they were not they wouldn’t be here, and the vestiges of when they had claws instead of fingernails sticks with them in the form of grilling and camping–outdoor and out-of-the-cave things that get turned on their heads by technology, which, in hunting, replaces any semblance of “fair chase” in the interests of more effective “harvesting.”
As a lifelong hunter, now retired from it, the keeper notes things like canned hunts, baiting, “ambush” blinds, and safaris and antler contests and stuffed heads on the walls and the President’s sons posing with the severed tails of great African beasts they have killed, and he—the keeper, wonders at the surprise some have at the decline in hunter numbers. Could it be progress in groping for the next rung on the rickety ladder? So maybe the doves are at the neighbor’s feeder.