Heritage Hunting

Mike Dwyer

Mike Dwyer is a former writer and contributor at Ordinary Times.

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8 Responses

  1. Chris says:

    I’ve spent a great deal of my life in the woods as well — my second monitor at work, when it’s not in use, scrolls through photos of the Cumberland Plateau, the Stone Door Trail, the Hiwassee River, the Duck River, and other remote places from back home, to keep me sane in this damn city — but I’ve never, not once that I can recall, wanted to kill something out there. It’s a mindset I just can’t wrap my mind around.

    Thinking about it, other than insects, I can only think of one thing I’ve ever killed in the woods, a water moccasin that was determined to fight it out for the right to sit in a canoe on the aformentioned Duck. And I felt bad about killing that damned thing for a long, long time. And unlike the squirrels, which never do more than bark at me, that damn snake was actually trying to hurt me.Report

    • Mike Dwyer in reply to Chris says:

      Chris – it’s certainly not for everyone. I was raised with it and I learned a long time ago that you just can’t explain it to people.Report

  2. James Hanley says:

    I went to Heritage High School, so your headline instantly evoked some weird Columbine-like associations.

    I’m not a hunter myself, but I’m not at all opposed to it, so I enjoy reading about how you experience it.Report

  3. Miss Mary says:

    That is so funny, I just finished writing something that reads a lot like this. Although, the content is completely different.

    This is really well written, Mike. Thanks for sharing. I don’t like the murder piece, but I’m happy that you ate it, I guess.Report

  4. dexter says:

    When I was growing up all my mama’s people were Okie farmers and for a while their main cash crop was pecans. Squirrels were competitors and my uncles hated them just as much as a lion hated hyenas. I was eighteen before I knew there was a season on the little things. All my kinfolk were good hunters. One of my uncles went out with twelve shells one day and came back with thirteen squirrels. The only thing they hated more than one squirrel was two making babies. And, they go good in all kinds of stews.
    Today I don’t hunt, not because I find something wrong with it, but because I don’t want to have to pay attention in the woods. Sometimes I wonder around with all the grace of a drunk elephant and others I am Buddha sitting on a mountain and listening to the wind.Report

    • Will H. in reply to dexter says:

      Sort of a similar experience here. It was rabbit that I always hunted when I was young.
      These days, I am more of a fisherman (or so I like to tell myself).Report

  5. Kazzy says:


    I’ve never understood hunting as well as I do after reading this piece. I never had qualms with it from a moral perspective, but it was always something I looked at slightly askew, if not fully mocking, as a born-and-raised city boy. I don’t know that I fully get it now, but I think I’m a lot closer to. Great, great piece.Report

  6. damon says:


    Your story reminds mind of bird hunting where I grew up. As others have noted, either you “get it” or you don’t.

    A quick one of mine: I was hunting with my Dad. We were moving west along a talus slope, he, about 40 yards up hill and slightly ahead me , when I heard the “tinkle” of something moving across the rock slope. I turned around and saw the biggest mule deer ever running directly away from me. Silhouetted against the sky, I could see all the points of the antlers. I stood, mouth agape, as I watched him run behind the curve of the slope. When my Dad asked me why I didn’t shoot, I could only respond “Couldn’t”.Report