As some of you may know, I am a native New Yorker (I can hear the jokes being mumbled). So there were a lot of things that were quite strange for me to adapt to when I moved south.
The first thing was driving down a road and the same people wave at you 20 times.
Or when you say “Hello” one of the responses was “How are we doing?” “I don’t know about you, but I’m doing fine” I would reply. Or an in-law would ask me to get something out of the “boot” of the car. The boot of the car, hmmmmmm?
But to be honest, New Yorkers have phrases and words that are just as strange. That is just how culture is in different parts of the world.
There is one part of the culture here that really blew my mind, deer hunting. Boy, when I would hear my colleagues talk about deer season you would think it was a second Christmas holiday or something. People literally would take off work to participate the entire deer season.
At first, I didn’t find the hunter’s excitement peculiar until I actually found out how the hunt was done. I’ll remind you again, just in case you forgot, my very first sentence. I was born and raised in New York City. The only hunting that took place there was were rival gangs or turf wars. So I was ignorant to hunting in the south.
My preconceived notion about hunting came from watching television and movies. The hunter would travel to the edge of the woods, unload his gear and began his hunting trek into the woods. I imagined the hunter camping out at night by a fire, planning his course of action for the next day. The hunter would head for the area he thought he had the best chance of bagging his prize…NOT!
This is the deal, first you buy the weapon of choice. The prices may vary but for the most part a rifle and scope may cost roughly about $800. Then of course you have to wear the hunter’s suit, which consist of boots, pants, coats etc. $200.
You can’t go hunting without the dogs, which cost about $200 each and the average hunter may run eight dogs ($1600). Since the canines are a major investment, the hunter will want to ensure that his or her dogs can be located. So they invest in a tracking system which consist of collars, GPS screen, antenna, mounting brackets and birdeye subscriptions approximate total $4000.
Then the hunter has to have transportation for himself and the dogs. I can’t even estimate that cost. But the dog-box that attaches to the bed of the truck costs somewhere around $1,200.
Here’s my point, in the scenario I previously mentioned the deer’s survival percentage is much higher. The dear is in its own habitat. The deer uses his natural instincts and senses to survive and sustain it’s existence in the wild.
While the hunter (in my scenario) uses his tracking skills, imitate the deer’s audible sounds or sounds of the horn rack scraping against a tree and maybe use a pair of binoculars to help aid his vision.
But, unfortunately, my perception is absolutely incorrect. The truth of the matter is, the well dressed hunter in camouflage (who doesn’t even go in the woods) drives around from dirt path to fields in an a pick-up truck full of dogs and equipped with tracking devices. Parks on the side of the road, turns the dogs loose in the woods and waits with a GPS system and then shoots the deer when it runs out of the woods. Definitely wasn’t what I thought hunting would be like. All I can say is “Po deer.”
Andre’ Alfred is the Sports/Staff Writer for the Bertie Ledger-Advance, the Chowan Herald, the Perquimans Weekly and The Enterprise. He can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.