“Dad, will you take me rabbiting?” my youngest son asks me early last year. Teach me to hunt, he begs.
What can I say. The genes are in the family. My great grandfather taught my grand father to hunt. My grandfather taught my father to hunt. And my father taught me to hunt. And though my sons have never known me to do so, out of the blue, the youngest asks.
So, we look into it. He can get a junior shooting licence at the age of 12, with the proviso there is strict supervision. (Unlike my dad who was given his first rifle at the age of 7, and was expected to bring something home for the pot.)
Arrggghhh so I dig out my old rusty rabbit traps and find they are illegal to use. According to the bureau of animal misinformation that is easily found on the web, it’s also illegal to own them. So after months of digging around, I finally got hold of the right information – both from a “Department of Land, Ranger” and the “RSPCA”, that its not illegal to own them. Nor do I have to weld them up to make them inert. And I can modify them to make them into a soft trap, which makes them legal to use…basically means I have to grind the teeth off them, and put rubber over the jaws to make them a soft jaw, which holds the animal and doesn’t harm them and more importantly, won’t harm other animals that you’re not trying to catch.
Now all I need to get to complete the rabbiting experience is some ferrets. But like wow. Have you seen the price of those biters. Cheapest I have seen is $60. The dearest was around $200 mark. It’s been 30 years since I bought one. I’m sure they were not that expensive, even with inflation factored in.
So meanwhile while looking into the logistics, I also contact some people whom I used to work with on a variety of properties and find out that one has a heap of rabbits there. And yes I can take him rabbiting there. Though the property manager isn’t sure about the shooting part, which is understandable.
So tomorrow I will be doing some modifications and taking a trip down to clark rubber. And this weekend will be doing the father and son thing; where the old guy passes down some skills to the young guys. Sitting around the fire. Throwing a line into the dam. Looking up towards the stars as we munch on the fruit of our labor. And sharing stories of our victories and losses.
Deep down, this old guy, is kinda wondering if he still has it. Has he lost his previous hard earned skills. Or will those long since unused skills and abilities come flooding back, like it was only yesterday when they were used. Either way, its going to be a time of deeper connection. And who knows, perhaps, the older will learn something from the younger and we will be mutually encouraged.