Here’s one thing I learned during my first day as a beginner hunter: Hunting is suffering (Sorry, Buddha … even if you really said life is suffering, you would add extra suffering points to the hunter).
Let’s talk about all the ways you can suffer as a beginner hunter.
First, a certain beginner hunter can go to bed way too late.
He can even do this after spending too much time at the local brewery the night before opening day. That makes for too little sleep, and no shortage of weird dreams. In my case, these dreams were about Iceland – where I’d much rather be on Sept. 1 than in the desert southeast of Phoenix for some dove hunting.
Second, the beginner hunter – at least the sort who wants to do the right thing – will suffer at the sight of other hunters.
Hey, we’ve all got to realize there are other people in the world. And that’s cool. When it stops being cool is when people are dove hunting right along a road. Or when they show up even later than you did, and plop right next to you. Even though this is my first time hunting, I know bad form when I see it. And that’s terrible form.
Next, the beginner hunter will certainly suffer at the sight of all the doves flying and frolicking during the drive to the preferred hunting site.
You’ll see other hunters (especially those lining the road) pointing and shooting. And you’ll hope there are just as many at your spot. Trust me, there won’t be. Because doves probably love giving you an airshow that you can watch only from your car. Once you stop driving and start dove hunting, they will disappear like Klingons with factory-upgraded cloaking devices.
Finally, the beginner hunter will suffer when the more experience hunters in your group say “Let’s call it a day and come out an hour earlier tomorrow.”
That means no tasty microbrews tonight. Sob.
Just to be clear, this dove hunting thing is not all bad. We all went home birdless, with one guy not even getting a shot off. But a hike with shotguns is still better than sitting around wasting your day. Good company, and everybody went home safe. And there’s nowhere to go but up. I’ll head out for Day 2 and see what happens.