By James Clapham
I’ve been vaguely inspired by the recent columns about hunting in Country Asides and I’ve had an equally vague yearning for visiting a relevant shop of some kind in order to see what would be required. I had never ventured into Cabela’s before, until after a particularly manly men’s conference a couple of weeks ago. Even before we (myself and a friend who will be henceforth known as ‘The Doctor’) got into the shop’s car park, I could feel the weight of testosterone oozing from all the pickup trucks outside the place, slightly offset by the vision of a Nissan Cube that seemed as out of place as a chocolate ashtray on a motorcycle.
In the UK, I had been on a day’s air rifle course. It was interesting as it told you which way to hold the gun, how to aim and that you don’t shove your eyeball into the scope as it doesn’t work like that. Ever since then I’ve thought about owning an air rifle, just for target shooting every now again. In Canada there are coyotes, which is the reason why that The Doctor wanted to wander aimlessly around Cabela’s in the first place. He, at first, wanted to look at the crossbows, while I, in a preoccupied Robin Hood-type disposition, viewed the bows and arrows that were on display, wondering how anyone could operate one of those overcomplicated looking bows with all those pulleys and strings and things. Also, William Tell’s crossbow didn’t come with a night vision scope, as far as that story went. However, coyotes are basically dog ninjas that only come out after midnight, right?
We were both surprised as to how heavy a crossbow actually is and decided it looked despairingly like too much hard work. The lower-powered air rifles pulled us in after that since we decided that it would be too much hassle trying to retrieve a crossbow bolt from a coyote and then doing the clean up afterwards and an air rifle doesn’t make that much noise either. The ‘proper’ guns also drew our attention, before suddenly…!
Of course, because fudge. Cabela’s sells lovely fudge and all sorts of kinds, some endearingly named. The Doctor bought our family some, so we had dessert at home. Since we had sampled some before we went home, we went happy. Thoughts of heroism against villainous coyotes dissipated into the evening, as the mint chocolate slices had won out by that time completely. That is, until I come across Robin Hood on Netflix, and then I’ll be in trouble again…