Test Yourself Again
It's apparent that with the population still growing apace,
this country must sooner or later adopt some of the stringent
measures used throughout Europe to limit the number of people
pursuing these basic outdoor sports, and shunt them off onto
tennis courts, carnivals, bowling alleys, massage parlors, bars,
adult movies, Sunday school picnics, rock concerts, golf courses,
orgies, piano recitals, opium dens, Tupperware parties, tea
dances, amateur theatricals, saturnalias, hoe-downs, hootenannies,
charity balls, pinball archades, or any place that might be considered
a substitute for overcrowded bass lakes or duck marshes.
By Ed Zern
In most European countries, in order to qualify for a hunting
license, the would-be sportsman is obliged to undergo a series
of oral, written, and physical tests, which cover, amoung other
subjects, the ballistics of rifle and shotgun ammunitions, the
safe handling of firearms, the various breeds of gun dogs and
their common diseases and their treatment, cultural heritage,
the identification of gamebirds and mammals, the common predators
of gamebirds and their control, the legal seasons and the penalties
for poaching, and so forth. Only after completing these examinations
satisfactorily is the candidate able to purchase a firearm, join his
local hunting or fishing club, and begin going afield.
It seems to me that sooner or later we in the United States shall
be obliged to adopt a similar requirement, and I personally hope it
will be sooner. In anticipation of that time, I wish to propose
a simple test for those applying for a hunting license, with only
those achieving a B-plus or better being licensed. Here are the
I. (This is a three-part question; this is Part1).
Seated in a duck blind with your old hunting buddy, you simultaneously
notice a pair of mallard drakes coming into your rig and (b) a large
cottonmouth moccasin that has just crawled onto the bench next to
your partner and is coiled to strike. You realize that if you call
your partner's attention to the snake, he will probably jump up and
cause the mallards to flare off. On the other hand, if you or he
shoot, the snake is likely to bite him. What do you do?
Part 2: Assuming you opted to keep quiet until you'd had a shot at
the mallards, and that the snake had then bit your buddy and caused
his instant death by venom or heart failure or both, would you (a)
pick up the decoys, load your partner into the boat, and head back
for the dock or (b) stay in the blind until you had your legal limit?
Part 3: If you elected to stay in the blind, would you (a) shoot only
your own limit or (b) yours and your partner's?
II. While walking down the street in a strange city you hear an
old lady crying, and when you peer inside her front door out of
curiosity, she stops blubbering long enough to explain that
her husband has died and left her penniless, with only a couple of
worthless old shotguns as his entire estate. She shows you the guns,
a Holland & Holland Royal matched pair with hand-detachable sidelocks
in a fitted brassbound oak-and-leather case with a canvas cover, in
mint conditions. Between piteous sobs she says she intends giving
the guns to the Salvation Army, but suggests you might be kind-hearted
enough to buy them from her. When you ascertain that it's not a scam
and that the guns have apparently never been fired, do you offer
her $5/$7.50/$10/ (checkone)?
These are fairly easy problems, of course, but really difficult tests
could be devised when necessary. ~ Ed Zern
Credits: From The Best of Ed Zern published by
The Lyons Press.
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