Sunday, August 17, 2008

Pass the Offering Plate Please

Oh, my neck and forearms are stinging with a raspberry colored sunburn after four hours fishing on the lake today. The Wife and her friends were off to a concert in the park so The Hunting Partner and I took our four munchkins and headed up to a beautiful, quiet lake in the high Sierras of Northern California. We wanted the kids to get some rod time but weren't in a hurry, so we didn't get on the water until about 11am. We ended up with five respectable planters in the boat at the end of the day with 3 of 4 kids hooking up; a very successful day all-around. And yes, I did remember sunscreen on The Kids...

On the drive home, we discussed the fact that The Hunting Partner would keep this day's catch - something that we always do no matter what the quarry is that we have pursued. Some days he'll take the whole bag, other days I will, and still others we'll split it based on who caught or killed it. Its a tradition we started since hunting together; but I'm not really sure why.

Sometimes I think it is an expression of hunting companion appreciation, an offering of friendship if you will. A guys version of saying, "Hey, thanks for hunting with me partner, it was a good day in the field." Or, perhaps one guy drove the last two times, so he is offered the quarry as a caveman type of 'payment' system. Not that a couple of additional birds in the bag will make up for a tank of $4/gallon gas, but it is the sentiment that counts, right?

On the other hand, sometimes it is a matter of practicality with me. If I am the one on the end of a bent barrel day, I just don't want to fuss with cleaning one duck or pulling out the FoodSaver for one fish. Let The Hunting Partner have it for his bag and that will give him a nice complete meal for his family.

Do any of you that hunt with other people practice this tradition as well? If so, why do you do it?


5 comments:

Blessed said...

We do things like that too and for the same reasons. Just one fish, one duck, etc... it's easier to give it to a buddy who has one or two to clean himself than to clean it ourselves and it's a friendship thing too.

Oh and by the way - my Hubby ALWAYS forgets the sunscreen...

SimplyOutdoors said...

We definitely will offer up a fish or a rabbit to a friend who already has a few others to clean.

I do it sometimes as a peace offering, sometimes because I don't want to clean it, and sometimes because my brother is an excellent wild game cook and eventually we will invite us over for a cookout involving the game.

Terry Scoville said...

I am a big believer of sharing the bounty. Especially when it comes to waterfowling. I get more more opportunities to hunt than my friends do. So I make sure they have plenty to take home. I do it because it makes me feel good to share and it seems the right thing to do.

Mike said...

Partner, you can always have my 2nd Pintail.

NorCal Cazadora said...

I never get enough at this stage in the game to feel generous about giving them away. I work so hard for the few ducks I bring home.

But earlier this year, I did give away my first cleaned duck to a student who knows I hunt and expressed interest in game meat. It was a huge moment of pride for me to hand over that duck, partly because I'd gotten enough that I felt I could let go, partly because I felt like a true provider.

Good post!