Saturday, 27 April 2013

Shooting for Redemption


While sitting around on a wet and windy Saturday afternoon, looking forward to some time in front of the fire at Matthew and Sadie’s house, we got an email from Mandy telling us that Didier and the boys were going rabbit and wallaby shooting and to be there in half an hour if I wanted to go.  So in a flurry of activity I drove over and joined Didier, Blake and Will walking up the hills in the back of the property, braving the rain to look for rabbits and wallabies.

Now normally I wouldn’t be that fussed about shooting wallabies.  Certainly not fussed enough to go out in the rain after them.  That was the reason I was taught to shoot at a young age in the first place, and I had quite a few nights out as a teenager shooting by spotlight to stop the wallabies destroying the watermelon and pumpkin shoots on our farm.

But because of the regulations at the time, after shooting them we had to leave all the wallaby corpses to rot in the field, and this always bothered me a bit.  Not all that much at the time, but as I have grown older it has annoyed me more, as it seems like such a waste.

It was this that I was going set to rights by going shooting with Didier and Blake, because afterwards we were going to butcher the wallabies and keep the tasty cuts for us, and the not-so-tasty cuts for the dogs.  This felt like a much better approach than just shooting them down.  We respect the animal by using the meat as best we can.
No, we didn't shoot this guy.  You didn't seriously think I would show photos of it did you?
We shot 6 good-sized wallabies, and after the guys showed how to butcher them I received a leg in exchange for my help.  Cor marinated it for a week and after slow cooking it was tasty but still dry.  I think next time we will marinate it in red wine vinegar and with more salt, and cook it up with some fatty pancetta to try and put some moisture in this gamey meat.

In any case, it was a first step on the road to a type of personal redemption.  And there is plenty more “redemption” up in those hills eating grass.

Until next time, live your own "Good Life"!