The Hunter’s Credo


So, hunting season is here.  Guys in L.A. don’t know that though because men here don’t hunt.  Occasionally they’ll troll — for chicks.  Or stalk.  Lot of stalkers here.  No real hunters though.  The city removes you from all that dirty nature stuff with its swarming insects and lack of outlets for your Xbox.

A lot of Angelinos are against hunting in general and they’ll tell you so in no uncertain terms over a hamburger and chili cheese fries.  I myself am a fan of hunting.  Maybe it’s because of where I’m from, but I “get” hunting.  I think it’s noble.  Nothing fills you with personal pride more than strapping the corpse of some decomposing beast to the top of your vehicle and hauling it home for your family to feed on.  It tastes better than it sounds.

My dad was 15 when he shot his first deer and has been hooked ever since.   The result of his passion is that I’ve tasted lots of game in my life.  I think it’s pretty safe to say that, if it ever walked in the woods, it ended up on my plate, because Dad lived by the hunter’s credo, “You shoot it, you eat it.”

I remember one time he shot a bear.  We ground it up and used it to make spaghetti sauce and Hamburger Helper because he said it was oily and gamey tasting.  But then, not too long ago, I was talking to him on the phone and I go, “Dad, I gotta tell ya, I know you said that bear was oily and gamey, but I never thought there was anything wrong with it.”

“Nah,” he said, “it was alright.  It was a mental thing.  I just never thought of bear as a game animal.”

And I wondered, “Then why the heck did you shoot the dang thing in the first place!”  But I knew the answer… because he had a license.  Now some licenses are hard to come by, so when you get one, by golly, you’d better get out there and bring down whatever is written on that piece of paper, or you’re just wasting everybody’s time.  And don’t forget, if you kill it, then you gotta eat it too, ‘cuz that’s the hunter’s credo.

And this leads me to my current dilemma, because I am in the midst of a heated debate with my conscience over something called whiting.  You ever heard of whiting?  It’s a fish, and I love fish, all fish… except whiting.  Whiting is pukerous.  Yeah, I know that’s not a word, that’s my point, it’s yucky beyond words — and I’ve got four pieces of it in my freezer.  I did have six, but I gagged down two because of the hunter’s credo.  Then it occurred to me, maybe I’m being too uptight about this.

First of all, I didn’t shoot the whiting.  I didn’t even catch it.  I bought it at Albertsons.  But I’m still aware that those rancid little fish gave their lives for my sustenance and I don’t want their deaths to be meaningless.  My gut tells me that I should slip a few of them under the seat of my neighbor’s black Mercedes convertible so he’ll stop having parties until 4 o’clock in the morning on a Tuesday night.  My head tells me this is probably illegal… if I get caught.

Had I been born in L.A., I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t be having this issue at all, because I wouldn’t know that fish were living creatures to begin with.  Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times my “vegetarian” friends have stated the following with conviction: “I don’t eat any meat.  I only eat fish.”  I wonder, do you think they think fish grow on trees or something?  I don’t know.  I only know one thing — I should have bought the buffalo burgers.

Missing Missoula

CC The Trained Monkey


BIO:  Carol Chrest is a bitter old spinster living in Los Angeles. When she’s not working ridiculous hours at her cruddy day job, she writes screenplays.  She drinks.  Back to CC’s Blog homepage.