With a brain still fried from drinking to forget the Pitt thrashing Saturday, I wake up this morning to a startling headline at Syracuse.com:
“Hunting for Woodcock in Central New York can be a Challenging Outing”
I was aghast. I was angry. I wondered if the inhumane sport of hunting had finally gone too far.
We were hunting Pat Woodcock?
You could rationalize away stalking deer to limit the population. Pheasant and grouse could be eaten. Bears are dangerous to humans. But one of the great kick returners in Syracuse history? Now this was just wrong.
Woodcock hunting is not for the faint at heart.
I read on. ‚ÄúAny time you get within 25 yards of a ruffed grouse, for example, you‚Äôre going to flush it. Woodcock are different.‚Äù
Well, yeah. The guy has incredible open-field instincts. Ever see him field a punt at his own 10-yard line and weave his way through traffic for a touchdown? Sorry, you’re not catching that guy sleeping.
“The DEC doesn‚Äôt have a good sense about the numbers of woodcocks in the state. He said the consensus is that their population is stable.”
I know exactly how many there are: one. Unless he’s married and has kids. But with such limited numbers of Woodcocks, shouldn’t the family be protected by the state Wildlife Department? Someone get Albany on the phone.
“What I particularly like about it is very few people do this. I rarely run into another woodcock hunter.”
Yeah, I’ll tell ya why. Because he’s a good guy. And he never did anything to you. The only other Woodcock Hunter I’ve ever known was Virginia Tech’s Ike Charlton.
“Some people say the meat tastes like liver. I don‚Äôt like liver, but I like woodcock. All I can say is they taste like … well, woodcock.”
This is truly barbaric. I’m sick.
“Most people don‚Äôt use their good guns when they go woodcock hunting because you can really scratch them up going through all the thick stuff.”
Look, I’m very anti-Woodcock hunting under any circumstances. But the reason he may not get the respect out in the field he deserves is because he never played in the NFL. Yet, a near decade-long run in the CFL as a returner/receiver should count for something. The guy was a captain on a Music City Bowl team, for crying out loud! Use your good guns boys. Anyone can tell you: A Woodcock doesn’t go down easy.