Catch-and-release hunting

Catch-and-release hunting

Author: Hatch Magazine
Published: January 3, 2023

“Using hunting dogs in the battle to preserve … turtles?

Curling, for those of you unfamiliar with it, is an arcane winter sport of Scottish origin in which one player slides a 42-pound disc of polished granite down a sheet of ice toward a kind of bullseye target. This disc, called a “stone,” moves at a glacially slow rate of speed, and as it’s doing so the other players furiously sweep the ice ahead of it with brooms in order to influence its velocity and direction of travel.

This curious spectacle inspired Frank Deford, the legendary Sports Illustrated writer, to tartly observe “Curling is surely the one sport in all the world in which the players themselves move faster than the object they put into play.”

John Rucker can relate to that. A 74-year-old retired English teacher who lives off-the-grid in eastern Montana, in the fall he and his pack of homebred Boykin spaniels hunt regulation, which is to say fast-moving, game: pheasants, Huns, sharptails. But for three-to-four months every spring and summer, Rucker and his dogs head east to hunt—wait for it—turtles.

Regardless of the species or the location, though, they’re still turtles. On a good day, they can do the quarter-mile in an hour. The point being that if they’re not the slowest things ever hunted with dogs, I don’t know what is. On second thought, let’s make that the slowest living things, just to eliminate antler sheds from contention. Hence the relevance, thin though it may be, of the Deford observation.”

The full article can be found here.

Photo Credit: Original Author

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