A few days ago, I was almost shot. Yes, that’s right. I had a loaded shotgun pointed at me. I was just walking my dog, following the path behind my house when a guy rose up from a ditch, pointing his gun at me. «I almost shot you!» he yelled, and added: «I thought you were a moose!»
I have never been mistaken for a moose before. I don’t have antlers and as a member of the homo sapiens species, I walk upright. The hunter explained that he didn’t see me until the last moment, and he heard me only because he was using some sound amplifying equipment.
This happened in less that a gunshot’s distance from my neighbors’ houses. And he was not the only hunter out there. You see, at least here in Norway, there seems to be a trend among hunters to hunt closer to where they can park their cars. Maybe they don’t like to walk. These «sons of the wilderness» like to sit close to fields and open areas where the poor animals come to graze. Also, «daytime hunting», where you don’t spend the night out in that nasty, uncomfortable woodland is becoming increasingly popular.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not against hunting. But this has gotten out of hand and it needs to stop. Fat, wealthy land owners are making obscene amounts of money on those tickets that allow people to come and shoot moose. The statistics are clear, hunting has become a sport here in Norway, and it’s a sport dominated by men with a yearly income significantly above average, with the grouse hunters being the richest of them all.
And really, I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of these people making the woods unsafe every fall and I’ve had enough of their pathetic illusions that this kind of hunting is a wonderful way to be «one with nature», as they themselves like to put it. Their attitude is that nature exists only to feed and entertain us human beings; the animals are there to be hunted and the trees are nothing but a source of income when they are sold to the paper mills.
As I said, I am not against hunting. I am not against rich people either. But when I almost get shot, I do get provoked and really, walking in the woods was supposed to be peaceful. And these people … These arrogant, little fucks walking around in the woods like they own them, they get on my nerves. I am out there all year round. I track animals. I sit completely still under the trees just to hear the changing of the seasons. I sleep there sometimes. I visit the old gravemounds that nobody except some archaeologists I’ve spoken to, know about. And those weekend warriors in their stupidly expensive hunting suits have the guts to claim they know nature and that people like me don’t. One of the «locals» asked me the other day if I’m an «idiot from the city», he had seen my Youtube videos and actually wondered if they were fake. Yes, I come from the city. I’ve lived in rural areas for 14 years now and from the age of 13 I used to travel out of the city to go bushcrafting and camping in the wild. And to be honest, I find that the most enthusiastic and experienced woodsmen grew up in the cities. Lars Monsen is one example.
Now, what people like that local doesn’t seem to get, is that killing animals is not the same as being an experienced outdoorsman. If you lack empathy and respect, you’re a psychopath, not a woodsman. The same goes for those people gathering at the jetty down where I keep my boat. Again, I have nothing against fishing. But these people are not there to gather food. The normal procedure when they catch a fish, is to leave it suffocating while they take pictures of it for Facebook. To me, that shows a lack of respect for other living beings. If you don’t really need that fish, if it’s just something you kill to brag on Facebook, leave it in the sea.
This attitude can be seen on a national level too. The Norwegian government, with the support of some other shitty political parties like the Labour, have decided that 47 of the 63 Norwegian wolves need to be killed. More than 11.000 sick and twisted souls have registered to take part in that hunt. Wolves, who count for about 1,8% of the total loss of those sheep that are let loose in the woods every year, also kill moose. And that is bad business for the land owners, of which some are used as «advisors» for the government. The same attitude is seen when it comes to killing other endangered animals, like the lynx, bears and so on. Also, more and more species have been put on the list of animals that can legally be hunted. Looking at that list, it is easy to see that hunting has very little to do with gathering food and we have moved a long, long way from those ancient times when hunting actually was done by people who understood and respected nature. It seems obvious that these spoilt men with their guns are just out there because it’s fun, like a real life version of a computer game.
So here’s what’s I’m going to do from now on. If I meet more hunters with loaded guns in the woods behind my house, I will kindly ask them to remove themselves and also to go screw themselves with a cactus. I will also be using the field where they like to shoot moose – I have now named it The Killing Field – for longbow target practice. I will use my long-range English longbow and the armor piercing arrows for that. Childish, you say. Maybe, but it will certainly scare the most lethargic and fat-assed hunters away from the neighborhood where my children play. I will establish safe routes through the terrain, which means I will move where the hunters can not get an aim. With time, some of the animals will be using that same path, since the landowner chopped down half the forest the other day and left all the spruce branches on the ground, leaving it almost impossible to move around for hooved animals like roe deers and moose. I find no reason to make things easy for those people who are basicly just spoilt brats playing with their guns. Until they start to behave like responsible adults, we’re at war.
-Bjørn Andreas Bull-Hansen
Read more: My first design project – the Hagal
Categories: Life and living