Things have been super busy lately with poker taking a huge back seat. I'm working now with 5 different South African Manufacturers, 2 chinese manufacturers, and dive shops from California to Hawaii to Florida to soon to be Guam! Very exciting for me to take the products across the world. I have individual customers contacting from japan to Turkey to Israel and Italy this last week, so for poker i've been playing, but low limits, and only while I'm emailing or talking nevr really fully engaged, as I had to put a lot of my bankroll to buying new products and doing a bit of advertising work.
I also went bowhunting for the first time. I had a writeup was actually a lot more fun and challenging than I thought.
When I get through the busy summer season I will have more time to focus.
My parents aren’t hunters. My Grandparents aren’t hunters. Even my GREAT grandparents weren’t hunters. But somewhere along the line, maybe two-THOUSAND years ago, my ancestahs was hunters. That’s a FACT! Either that… or I was adopted.
My dad went to MIT - then Harvard, my Brother - Yale, and I … a lesser school. But how is it that I was raised in a normal 2 parent, 2 child household in sunny NORMAL suburbia…(Orange County) and I come out to be some medieval hunter gatherer? – heh. Here’s a hint - I’m not normal.
Maybe it was my fascination with Robin hood as a child, or my voracious capture of bees and ants and magnifying glasses. Or maybe I really wanted to use an arrow to cut some beautiful lady down from a noose/hanging for some horrific act – like stealing a cup of water.
Well time went on and I got into Spearfishing – which I’ve done for the past ten years. Frequenting local and foreign waters, holding my breath to chase, capture, and eat the tastiest fish, lobster, and scallops around the world.
But for some reason I was against hunting for my whole life. Was it because I did not grow up around hunters? Have Millions of years of evolution to hunt and gather and capture animals disappear in the last 200 years of farming and more recently the invention of grocery stores?
I grew up with pet rabbits and dogs. *****, I even cried when Old Dan died, not to mention when E.T. went home. So my compassion for animals (and aliens) was, and has always been there. But something was blocking my ability to hunt, to kill a furry, fuzzy animal. But nevertheless, I would continue to buy them at the grocery store, encouraging slaughter of farmed animals raised – abused, rather, in the poorest conditions. Fed their own crap, whipped, deformed through human cruelties and other malevolent deeds.
So I forced myself to do it. Last week, I got one target practice round under my belt and with that, I went out to put some backstraps on my kitchen table. It was a mental block I had to get over, besides, I felt it a double standard for anyone except HOMELESS vegetarians to be against hunting. (Yes, we encroached their natural habitat to pave our roads, place infrastructure…not to mention the home that you live in.
So I set a date with Big Horn Canyon Ranch and out Past Riverside I go. 8am I am there and see animals roaming about, a 2 hour drive from Santa Monica.
A quick brief from owner Chuck and I am off…I feel like I am in the wilderness. Tall brush, trees and bushes. Rams on the horizon and the sun coming up over the hilly barren mountains that go on for miles. I walk down the hill and immediately realize I am ill-prepared. My ankle twists in my trainers and already I feel sweat across my brow. Outside temperature: 80 degrees. I am overcome with anxiety, nervousness and excitement. Am I really doing this? I think how many times hogs in the chute of a slaughter house get to run away? Here it is a test. Here, I must be better than the game’s eyes, ear, nose.
As I come down I see 4 Bighorn Sheep atop a hillside 200 yards away, I slowly head that direction and as I creep closer they go up the hill, higher and higher with a 45 degree slant hillside and crumbling rocks, there is no real place for me to put my footing. I learn this the hardway as I try yet slide down 40 feet before falling into an 8 foot ditch feet first, sorely compressing my spine… cutting both my forearms and tearing my pants wide open. I think God has made a majestic creature and feel the playing field is very fair, especially with a bow.
I am foreign here.
As the morning moves on, it gets hotter, the animals – sparser…hiding under thick brush unseen. I wait. An hour goes by and nothing. Two hours I hear the crackling of twigs and see 3 big billy goats. In my excitement I nock an arrow and they hear this and are gone.
Here it is I realize where I was wrong: I always thought hunting was for fat old men but nothing could be further from the truth. This place was hot…this place was super hot….it was hilly, and every bit of my day as hard physically as freediving. In total I would venture to guess I walked 8 miles the whole day in 100 degree weather, running up hills, waiting, hurting, limping, sweating, bleeding.
Later as I was tracking a Ram down and up and down and up hills, never getting a good shot I saw it 75 yards away but behind brush I crept to a 45 yard upward shot , nocked an arrow and prayed. I aimed a bit high tearing through the Scapula muscle and the tracking began. A bit of tracking and I downed the animal with a double lung shot.
The afternoon was coming the sun was going down and there wasn’t much time
When I wanted, the owner (Chuck) and his son (Charlie) were extremely helpful and attentive.
Hunting is the most selective form of meat capture, and the healthiest. Out in nature. Mano a mano. The meat was the leanest of any lamb/sheep/ram I have ever seen. Healthy, nutritious protein.