Cowboys, dogs, and dirtbikers: unexpected visitors to Monkey Valley
As remote as it is, you might be surprised to hear the unexpected visitors I’ve had at Monkey Valley. One time I was coming back from a run to the 5 KM marker—a favourite out-and-back route that takes about 45 minutes—and found two men in hunters’ gear on the wrong side of the fence at the top gate. They were standing behind the signs that said No Hunting and No Trespassing. Luckily I was feeling strong and confident with all the blood charging around my body from the run, so I grilled them, beginning with:
“Can you read?”
They claimed they could, but gave a lame excuse about wanting to look at the valley. One man tried to charm me by saying “It’s beautiful land you’ve got here.”
One had a bow and arrow and wanted to shoot a deer. The other one had a gun in case a bear came across them while the other one was shooting at deer. It turns out they were from Vancouver. Living out some kind of woodsman fantasy about hunting with a bow and arrow.
I made them crawl back under the fence on their bellies.
This is the place for a discussion of grown men shooting defenceless animals. Why do they want to do this? When I see the rows of hunting magazines in the grocery store in Merritt it makes me feel sick. All the covers have pictures of men standing smiling over the corpses of the animals they’ve killed. What is wrong with people?
I think all hunting of wild animals should be banned, except in the cases of people who have a hunting-gathering lifestyle and this is how they feed their families. And how many hunter-gatherers do you know? Probably NONE. Men from the cities, towns, and ranches who come into the wilderness to kill something to make themselves feel manly should just get over themselves and go see a therapist. The time for hunting is long over.