Hunt Diaries – Taking a Life for the Heck of It

Shahzad Zafar, Lahore

I am not very fond of crows and there is a story behind it and which I shall write one day InshaAllah.
Sadly have gotten a few in my young days with an air gun and some from the duck blind when ducks were not coming in and some just for the heck of it. But my wrath on non game birds/animals that I do not eat was thankfully all along predominantly limited to crows and wild-boar only which I took under the justification of ‘pest’.

Re-thought about my personal vengeance against crows sometimes back and realized that taking a life for the heck of it does not come under real Shikar essence and is actually quite inhumane and hence evolved to vow to never do that again. And indeed long gone those days when the wild-boar abounded Pakistan and also the ‘maulvi’ has instilled such hatred in our minds in general that even the mere name brings genuine disgust and in turn the wish to eradicate this hateful animal in a manner that we would kill them irrespective of females and young ones. Even though hunted them on foot and with dogs in my early hunting days but started going after them on a vehicle and with a searchlight in year 2003 and shot them indiscriminately.

It was self realization in 2005 when at a teetar shikar at the border a couple of boars crossed the zero line around noon and I took a snap shot and got a gut shot at the female who was behind with a number 6 or 8. The poor female cried in agony and went in the Saroot on the other side and since it was wounded it just cried and we all know how horrible that sounds. It left a deep sense of guilt and remorse and it dawned at that moment despite the brewed hate that these poor creatures are also God created and their life also shan’t be taken just like that with a momentary pleasure at the pull of the trigger. Also, they only remain few in numbers and even though are a pest but no longer a real threat to crops and in hearts of heart we kill them for mere sport and most of us are even lucky to find them in the wild in this age and time as such is the decline in their numbers.

Luckily for me during those times, someone on a shikar mentioned their crow expedition from the blind whilst the ducks weren’t coming and I did some taking  as to his being cruel etc and how that reflects his INNER-SELF. He took it nicely then but the next day politely reminded me that I take wild-boars that too at night (with a search-light) and from a vehicle and if I may have an explanation or as to how it was different from his taking the crow. I slept over this and even though like a good Pakistani I could give ample justifications. I pondered and concluded that I needed correction myself. I in turn decided that day that night shooting from the comfort of the VEHICLE and wild-boar (or any other vermin for sport) was out for me and that too for good.

One of my all time favorite lines since from Robert Ruark’s book ‘The Old Man and the Boy’ that I would love to adhere to (would wish all shikaires to adhere to it also) and is apt is, “…if there’s one thing I despise it’s a killer, some blood-crazy idiot that just goes around bam-bamming at everything he sees. A man who takes pleasure in death just for death’s sake is rotten somewhere inside, and you’ll find him doing things later in life that’ll prove it”..

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