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Huntin' and Killin'

southparkuncle12.jpgI was invited to a couple of days of duck hunting at the weekend in the east of Finland close to the Russian border. Although I used to do quite a bit of shooting in my youth it was mainly at clay pigeons and targets. I spent a bit of time last week considering how hunting and killing fitted in with my morals, and wondering if I really did have to shout, It's coming right for us before shooting. I needn't have bothered, however, as, only firing four times over the weekend, I didn't hit anything!

We were, nonetheless, staying at a lovely log cabin complete with sauna, next to a lake. At night, the only sounds were the noise of crickets as the full moon reflected off the calm water. The first evening involved lots of drinking and sauna-taking but getting up early the following morning, with only five hours sleep and nursing hangovers, was hard.

Beers were cracked open as we got into the boat at 09:00, then we stopped off on an island to drink with some other guys on the hunt for an hour or two before the shooting started. I managed to opt to be designated driver, avoiding mixing beer and guns, and lowering myself in respect amongst the Finns in doing so.

The following morning we had a sunrise shoot, getting up at 04:00 and heading off into the darkness. Somehow, though, the ducks won in the weekend war, and our boat shot a total of three, of which only one was retrieved. Luckily, we had sandwiches or we would have starved.

As South Park once put it...

Uncle Jimbo: Now boys, boys, I, I need to get serious for a minute. I want you to understand a few basic rules of hunting, since this is your first time. First, don't ever walk with your gun unless the safety's on. Second, don't shoot anything that looks human and third, never spill your beer in the bullet chamber.

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