Ain’t no anti-hunting namby-pamby

Ain’t no anti-hunting namby-pamby

Sernadeer Since some folks thought my complaint about seeing deer being killed on a restaurant TV while having breakfast with my nieces was a symptom of some kind of East Coast yuppie liberal sissiness on my part, this photo and story should dispel. It comes courtesy of Fr. J. Patrick Serna, a priest of the Diocese of Corpus Christi, Texas, (on the left holding the Mannlicher BRNO chambered in .308; a parishioner is on his right.) Here’s the story of the pile of ... unprocessed venison behind him:

This last harvest of 30 deer, shown in my pickup bed (Feb.13, 2007), is currently being processed and packaged into hamburger and steaks for orphans which are taken care of by the nuns about 15 miles away from my parish (in Calallen).  Correct, it is no longer deer season for regular hunters.  However, on large ranches the State Game & Fish department requires that X number of does and cull bucks be harvested, usually in February, according to different formulae set down by the biologists.  This helps improve the health and genetics of the herd.  So… the month of February is a special time for sniping hombres to take care of this situation.

Nacho Libre had to wrestle to help out the orphans… I, Fr. Patrick,do my small part by hunting in order to help out the orphans !

I send this to hunters, non-hunters who have no objection to hunting, and I am also sending this to anti hunters.  Please read this little reflection below:

If you eat hamburgers, if you eat out at restaurants and order any kind of meat in the form of sausage, ribs, steak, and so on, then this is how it got to your plate:


p id="subhead">How meat gets to your plate

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  • Actually, Dom, I couldn’t agree more.  The way domestic animals are raised today is barbaric.  It’s one of the reasons I’m vegetarian.  And the fact that many hunters donate their kills to hunger centers is a big plus for them.

    But I also agree with your original assessment that very young children shouldn’t be exposed to bloody kills on a tv screen at a restaurant.  When I was six years old living in Australia, our neighbor brought home two ducklings.  Just imagine what a delight it was for me to touch their soft downy coats and watch them grow.  With no warning whatsoever when they reached maturity, the same neighbor, fully aware that I was watching from the yard, threw a board at one of the ducks to cripple him, grabbed him and hacked off his neck.

    Not a good way for a little kid to learn about the hard realities of life.

    But then, when I was a kid my mom could take me to the doctor, dentist, any place and not worry that something offensive or traumatic would show up on the waiting room tv screen.  It’s not simply about graphic hunting scenes on tv.  The whole culture has shifted to where it is very difficult for children to retain any semblance of innocence throughout their formative years.  I understand that now a Canadian phone company is streaming porn to cell phone users.  And of course it’s already out there on the internet 24/7.

    Anywhere there’s a tv screen these days you’d better watch if you have small children with you because you just never know what’s going to show up, including bloody hunting scenes.  Believe me, I didn’t grow up as a city slicker.  I know fully well where and how food comes from.

    Now, back to my veggies . . .

  • Outstanding!!! Sorry I doubted you, but then again, you ARE from Boston!! Trust me, no age is to young to get the little ones involved in the harvesting of our furry friends.

  • When I was six, my folks sent me to my maternal grandparent’s farm for the summer. One day my uncle took a chicken to the yard where there was a chopping block. You know the rest. It was an important episode in my character development, as I learned the meaning of the term “like a chicken with its head cut off.”

    Fortunately, I wasn’t eating at the time.

    Now, as for YOUR situation, Dom, I think there would be even less doubt about your manliness if you were in one of the pictures with a shotgun. (No, don’t get me wrong. We’ve all seen you standing in the yard with that Weber grille. You da man, you da man! I’m just saying…)

  • Apparently in Massachusetts, the police chief can refuse to give you a firearms ID card if you have an Italian name and he doesn’t know your father personally. That happened when I was 20 and I never went back again.

  • please encourage Fr. Serna to be a bit more safety conscious.  His rifle needs to be pointed away from his hunting companions.  The rifle in the top photo should be pointed at the gound and to the right and not at his parishioner’s head.  A hunter always assumes a gun is a loaded gun and should treat it with respect.  photos like that one often give hunter’s a bad name.

  • Fr. Patrick’s article brings to mind an essay from a few years back in (of all places) Touchstone Magazine:>

    I’m not a vegetarian, but reflecting on this has led me to eat less meat overall, and to try to get more of the meat I do eat from less cruel processes (and yes, to my mind that would include hunting).

  • In Response to Kevin, from Feb.14, from Fr. Patrick:

    It would have been more charitable, courteous and manly for you to have written directly to me, rather than tell Dom to tell me to ” be more safety conscious. ”  My personal info was sprinkled throughout the blog post, and you could have gotten my e-mail address from there. Or, you could have asked Dom to give you my e-mail address.

    I know the wonderfully true maxim that “most people die from unloaded rifles” and unsafe pointing of gun barrels.  There was nothing wrong with my rifle holding position.  While I agree as do all hunters that the BEST position for gun safety is a rifle pointed downwards, it is not the ONLY safe and acceptable position.  When out in the boonies, about 30 miles away from any other human being or form of civilization, a rifle pointed upwards is PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE by gun safety standards (while I still admit that a rifle pointed downwards is the “best”).

    Your statement that I was pointing the rifle at my parishioner’s head is erroneous and ignorant detraction. Shame on you for saying such an untrue and scandalous accusation, especially when taking into consideration the fact that many non-hunters and non-shooters read your publicly stated accusation, people who would not have known better and taken your accusation as true!  The accusation (a false one at that)  from one hunter (you) to another (me) in public forum is what gives a bad name to us hunters, not my safe way of holding the rifle in the picture you referred to.  Before taking the picture, my friend and I went to great lengths, making sure that the muzzle of my unloaded rifle was not pointing at anyone’s “head,” as you ignorantly accused me of. Photos sometimes do not show depth perception for what it is, but a real life assessment of our “pose” would have shown you that the muzzle was several inches behind and away from his head. The unloaded rifle and muzzle of the unloaded rifle was in no way a threat or compromise to my parishioner’s head or accepted standards of gun safety.  My main suggestions to you are: 1-think before typing something ignorant; 2- Tell a man something directly, don’t tell another man to do it for you; and, 3- Go get your vision checked so that you can see pictures better.  From here on out, please write manfully and directly to me at:  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) . Read the following while you’re at it: 
    Fr. J. Patrick Serna

  • “Your statement that I was pointing the rifle at my parishioner’s head is erroneous and ignorant detraction.”

    …and your response is what some people would call a “hairtrigger.”

    I am not one to question the manliness of any priest who can handle a gun, lest there be any further misunderstanding. My inclination, Padre, is to say more power to ya. I’ve had a bit of training in my time (Safe Hunting certification by Ohio Dept of Natural Resources, BSA Marksmanship merit badge), and personally I wouldn’t point a gun that way either. No, it’s not directly at his head, but away from the general direction would be considered safer. If I were posing for a photo, I’d place it on my other shoulder. If we were walking alongside, I’d point it downward. And unlocked, of course, unless the game was afoot.

    As far as contacting you directly, yes, the correspondent could have done that. But it’s not as if your e-mail was right there on the post, and we all tend toward the path of least resistance. And the commentary was here, as was the discussion, one from which none of the principals is barred, including yourself.

    Now, a real man would also appreciate your more comprehensive review of gun safety. Including this man. And I got that here too.

    (Ah, the smell of testosterone in the morning!)

  • Response to Mr. David Alexander—- 
    Your manner of expression and choice of words are in the language I’m familiar with. Thank you. Yes, you are right, “away from the general direction” would definitely be considered safer. While my pose in the picture in question was objectively safe, by no means would I consider it a billboard example of how to carry an unloaded rifle with someone nearby.  Again, away from the general direction would NO DOUBT have been much better.  No argument on that one. What bent me out of shape was the previous individual’s irresponsible comment which said, with no nuances, that I had the barrel “pointing at my parishioners head.” That choice of words was flat out wrong, factually and morally, inasmuch as it was a moral judgment against me, one which, if true, explicitly implied that I could very easily have blown off my parishioners head!  I’ll admit that my exercise of prudence regarding a picture for general viewing could have been better.  While my position WAS objectively safe, I agree with you that the pose could indeed have been better. When in a deer blind, my magazine is filled but chamber is empty. When stalking prey, my rifle is chambered with bolt handle up, firing pin and mechanism disengaged, safer than bolt down with safety feature “on,” which is safer and more “paranoid” than the average hunter. When dove or quail hunting, my crack barrel is usually cracked open, rather than ready to go with the safety engaged (as opposed to most hunters who generally trust in the safety mechanism, which I personally do not trust), since cracked open is obviously safer. So, my usual modus operandi of overly careful and vigilant gun safety fell short this time around… thank God the pose was still a careful and safe pose, despite the fact it could have been better.  Anyhow, it is good humility for a hunter like myself who is known by peers for being ultra careful, overly careful, to be called to the carpet.  I appreciate your choice of words and way in which you expressed your concerns.  Good hunting to you, and may St. Hubert, patron of hunters, help you bag lots more game in your lifetime!  In Christ,  Fr. Patrick

  • Having read all of the above I have one more observation to make, that of equating “manliness” with handling a gun.

    I’m sorry, but the two don’t necessarily go together.

    Some of the most masculine men in history don’t hunt.  My retired police officer husband is a crack shot (from his days in the Marines where he was an instructor) and on an urban police force) and he doesn’t hunt and he’s as masculine as they come.

    And sadly, although I recognize no one posting here fits into that category, a lot of young urban males are killing each other with guns in order to look “macho.”

    The aura surrounding firearms has gotten way out of wack in our society.

    Personally, my heroes are the likes of Albert Schweitzer, Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Isaac Bashevis Singer.

    “Blessed are the merciful.”