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The Wandering Eye:  It’s Huntin’ Season!  Oy…

Our blogger, interior designer Carey Maloney, and his partner Hermes Mallea, an architect, are principals in the M (Group).

Hermes reminds me I’m overdue on a new blog—this during an afternoon walk on Woods Road, wearing multiple cunning bits of “Don’t shoot me!” orange. A vest for him, a scarf for me.  It can’t be a ‘nice’ orange—like a Loro Piana or Hermes orange. Nooo—that would be too ‘natural’ in Autumn. It has to be Walmart orange—a florescent color not often found in nature and not often found on me.

Why wear ugly stuff? ‘Cause it is hunting season and the guns are drawn. 

So - a blog on hunting!  I was thinking I could talk about the various seasons and give hope that it will soon end.  Upbeat.  Funny pics. 

Wrong.  Very wrong..  Damn… 

I was quickly drawn into the ugly internet netherworld of gun trade, gun rights, and blood sports—lots of bad, wacky shit, by my peaceful gay urban standards. 

The 2009 nightmare began when this past weekend’s valuable naptime was interrupted (understatement..) by what registered first in my addled brain as the finale to Macy’s fireworks. 

Noooo.  Can’t be fireworks, dummy.

So the sun was setting (how pretty!) and somewhere—way too close—it sounded as if maybe five men with various enormous assault weapons had stumbled upon a thieves den of dangerous prey… Or more likely, one poor dumbass deer…  Whatever they found, that animal was not getting away alive. 

So I’m huddled there in bed, calculating the trajectory of a bullet through three panes of glass (“I think we’re safe, Pancho..”) and wondering/growling..
  1. Why so many shots ? What kind of weapons do these guys use? This is “sport”? 
  2. How many of them are there out there???  (I thought there were one or two hunting out there, not a battalion)
  3. When is it over?

The answer to the first question—automatic and semi automatic weapons.  The National Rifle Association finds the term ‘assault weapon’ pejorative, and declares most of the differences in weapons to be ‘cosmetic’.  We can agree on one thing, guns these days are scary looking.

                                      Hello Kitty (!?)..  For those rowdy rural PTA meetings.

So boo hoo, NRA, ‘Assault weapon’ still works for me.  They assault my senses, and they assault my sense of fair play.  And they kill people.  Your old-fashioned, basic, double-barreled shotgun is tres passé, replaced by militaristic killing machines that pump out exploding bullets.  At deer??

The answer to question #2 is 700,000 New Yorker’s hunt.  3.6% of the population.  A rather loud 3.6%, no?  Don’t’ even think about suggesting a Wait period or security check, because to quote one site, “Concealed handguns provide a means to protect yourself from attack by the predatory criminals in our society.”  Damn.  What happened to scream and run away???

                                        Less Gear = More Sporting. These guys are very sporty…

And for Question #3—go to the New York State Department of Environmental Protection website for the dates for everything – bear, muskrats, weasel, deer, squirrel, etc etc.  There’s a season for all sorts of critters.
This topic is a hotbed of anger and, well, violence!  NRA supporters are all guns, all the time, no holds barred. (BTW, Charlton Heston was gay, gay, gay.  I write that in the hope he is flipping over in his grave).  Brady Bill supporters think maybe some sort of supervision is called for … Go figure.

This topic leads one into the depths of internet scary places fast.  Your basic creepy sites, like the NRA’s, quickly become tame compared to “Armed and Christian” or “Geek with a .45”… My current favorite, “Students’ for Concealed Carry on Campus”—what could go wrong??  Finally, Packing (as in a gun…).com, “perfect for the traveler” (!). 

No way I am sharing the images.  Violent and stooopid and aggressive.  Trust me on this—it is not an ‘attractive’ crowd.  As they say in Beaumont, Texas, “Not Garden Club material”.

                  Rural Intelligence Style
              Why can’t our hunters look like these hunters? Definitely Garden Club material.

On the high end of the scale would be Dutchess County’s Clove Valley Rod and Gun Club.  Muy rico, the Clove.  Seventy members purportedly spend $100,000 a year (I doubt this figure, because our member friend is not shelling out a hundred grand—he is way cheap). 

In 2007 Dick Cheney was a guest so you know Good Sportsmanship lives on at The Clove (I hope their First Aid kit includes a defribulator and a Breathalyzer).  I’ve hunted there (huh?!?) and can attest it is perfect for the spoiled rich WASP with a gun and a thirst for blood and booze. Name your game and it is released sportingly in front of you.  They raise tens of thousands of birds and fish – I’ve seen the milling corrals of baby ducks. Little do they know what freedom will bring…Ducky One ”Look, they opened the cage door!” Ducky Two, “OMG! Don’t go out there!”

                    The local gang…  Hey, Earl!” “Yep, Earl?” Squirrels, Earl! Them’s good eatin’!”

On the low end of the scale, you have ‘our’ hunters—headquartered at the Germantown Stewart’s Shoppe (FYI – the Mobil Quick Stop is parvenu, Stewart’s is ‘Old Money’).  Our Local guys show up at our door annually with a little gift bottle of Cointreau or Bailey’s and the request to hunt on our property.  Since they have permission to hunt all around us—we are a 5 acre island in a 120 acre sea—we always reluctantly say OK.  They’ve been there for years, and they seem sober.  We aren’t happy, but we aren’t threatened either…So far, so good.

I’m assuming (my assumption shallowly based on personal appearance and hygiene) that these guys eat what they kill.  I suggest the 1960’s “Joy of Cooking” for useful suggestions for healthy, tasty, seasonal, family treats.

                                            “The Joy of Cooking” lost me at “feed for ten days.”

Booze and guns seem to go hand-in-hand.  In my Texas youth, it being the ‘70’s, we were inspired to add drugs to the mix.  We’d pile in someone’s car—drunk—and drive hours to a ranch in south Texas, drink more. Drop some speed, smoke some pot, and ‘hunt’ feral pigs (clocking in at 300 mean pounds), while sitting on this tall, tall, swaying thingy attached to a Jeep.  I distinctly remember a sub-machine gun being involved but we never saw a pig. (Those suckers, BTW, will kill you and eat you).
Since Cheney will always be a demon and I see no reason to let go of my anger, let me weigh in on the incident when he blasted that old man in the face. One word: Drunk.  Liquid lunches are de rigueur. Been there, coulda done that (but happily I didn’t—and he did!)

If baiting game is illegal in New York, what’s with the tethered kid? “Other side” of the river?   

Supporting New York’s fur industry—our first lady in squirrel, Mme Chiang Kai-shek in beaver.  I’ll bet Mei-ling could skin a beaver with a single piercing stare…

                      How to skin a squirrel, “Joy of Cooking” style.  Snappy gloves and booties!

So, my advice, through the end of the year, keep you head down, watch your back, and wear Orange fleece (gross!).  Hey, finally, the excuse for cheap clothes you’ve been looking for in “these difficult times.” To quote my mother, “I’m one of those people that doesn’t look good in cheap clothes.”  Then aren’t you lucky you don’t own any?  Hermes would say that this apple didn’t fall far from that tree. —Carey Maloney

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Posted by Marilyn Bethany on 11/12/09 at 03:14 AM • Permalink