My job description includes the words comic, speaker, writer, and soldier, but I’m looking to add hunter to the list. It’s been on my mind for a number of years. I’m not afraid to try new things, such as growing a garden this year. It was my first one and by all accounts was a tremendous success.
My dad was a champion coon hunter. Mawmaw apparently cooked a mean coon, but her possum was better. I remember seeing a plate ‘o possum on the dinner table one night, but I can’t remember if I ate it or not. Let’s hope not. I want to kill deer, doves and ducks; things I enjoy eating. That’s good stuff.
My dad grew up on the land where he hunted, so he knew it like the back of his hand. He took people coon hunting all the time and some of them share memories with great fondness whenever the subject is brought up. When he lost his eyesight, people were less inclined to go with him. I can’t blame them. A blind man with a gun can’t be a good thing. Sometimes simply wearing orange is not enough. I was only two when his vision went the way of the dodo bird, so I never got to with him. Then, he passed away a few years later.
Usually, when I talk about “hunting the good stuff,” it’s in relation to my role as a Master Resilience Trainer for the Army. It’s about being more attentive and appreciative to the positive things in our lives. In this case, however, it’s about hunting some good stuff to go in my freezer.
Hunting is in my blood. I’ve felt it for a long time. I killed some squirrels when I was a kid. Grandmamma cooked them up real good with some biscuits and gravy. My mom’s husband cooked me a mean mess of fried rabbit one night. My friend Dale gave me some elk last year, which was the leanest meat I’d ever eaten. It was incredible.
Besides adding food to the freezer, it can help me in a lot of ways. I’m always thinking of future personal projects. One of them is to write a book called I Hunted in All 50 States: Words of Wisdom from the Woods. There’s a lesson to be learned in everything we do, and hunting is no different. Alertness, preparation and patience are just three things that immediately come to mind. Even when there is no kill, there’s something special about being in the woods. It’s so peaceful.
Last year, I received an inquiry from a large deer hunting organization in Pike County, Illinois. Pike County is world-renowned for its whitetail deer population. They wanted me to speak at an event to kick off the season but decided to take a different route when I told them I didn’t know anything about hunting. I was bummed, but it did open my mind to a world of new possibilities.
Being a newbie to the hunting game at the age of 44 will likely lead to a lot of humorous stories and will no doubt bring about future opportunities in writing, speaking and comedy. So, if anyone is up for a day in the woods with me, just let me know. I already have one guy who has volunteered to take me snipe hunting next weekend. I can’t wait for that. I hear it’s better than possum.
Jody Fuller is from Opelika. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.