Go to main menu Go to main content Go to footer

Voices ᐋ ᐄᔮᔨᐧᒫᓂᐧᐃᒡ

Last chance for spring

BY Sonny Orr May 8, 2022

I was getting prepared for the Goose Break hunt. Watching primer videos and photos of hunts down south put an itch in my twitchy trigger finger. I figured it was time to clean the gunk from last year’s hunt off my trusty shotgun and scrounge for loose shells from pockets and drawers so I could say that at least I had enough ammo.

Next, the search for the thermos, long johns, and camouflage anything and everything. The invaluable foldable seat for old bones and the tarp to hide the ATV or snowmobile composed the other essentials along with, of course, enough gas to leave town.

All ready and anticipating spring to show up, we woke to a wet snow blizzard, making shoveling a heavy task with the dirty, slippery slush clinging to everything – a no show for spring. 

I debated whether I should keep my studded snow tires on my vehicle for my next southern foray. I messaged an expert – a buddy who knows everything about the law and four wheels. He left me with a decision to make. I whipped out the weather app to see if I should or shouldn’t and finally decided to change them in case spring turned into summer overnight. You never know these days, with all this topsy-turvy Mother Nature stuff.

Then a quick call from someone who wants a license to pilot a boat and I wonder if there’s online training simulators we could use, in case the thick ice this year hangs around all summer. I made a note to myself to check this out. You never know, the second coming of the Titanic might need help from those who know both ice and water.

Travel is allowed everywhere except to the places that we like on the globe. So, planning a trip south might have to be combined with a quick stop at the pharmacy to get spot checked for any new variant that will dictate where, when and for how long we can dare expose ourselves without fear of any contamination.

After two years of washing and disinfecting, I long for the days when a little dirt on our hands looks so much better. Sometimes, showing that dirt still has its rightful place on our epidermis can be a good thing. 

Now, given that some waterfowl are getting the avian flu, I wonder how that will affect us? Will there be a test done on the bird before touching it? Will we have to handle it with latex gloves? So many confusing questions. 

There isn’t that much to fear as we’ve gone through all this before, but conservancy might be the key word here. Kill to eat for the need to eat but remember that the domestic culinary delight, the chicken, is getting a pounding with hundreds of thousands little cluckers dumped daily because of the flu. I can see the auctions for fried chicken easily increasing, with roadside searches for bootleg chicken becoming a normal thing, instead of the usual contraband suspects.

It’s illegal, but the smell of fried chicken is just too much for those in authority, who must exercise their right to confiscate your greasy goods at the next checkpoint. The chicken will be processed in a guard’s stomach as apparently, it’s hard to keep those guys full of protein. Kind of like another type of security system that depends on doughnuts to keep those long, lonely night shifts bearable. 

Luckily, I know how to cook the best fried chicken that doesn’t taste like any other, simply because I don’t use anything that looks like a pancake-mix filler, and I don’t fry them. I use a simple air fryer, which to my knowledge doesn’t fry anything. It just bakes it using a powerful fan to push air around so fast that the friction alone will char any exposed chicken skin. I just know that if you don’t keep a close eye on it, the heat will air dry it completely. 

So, I remain out of the chicken drama fray that will soon outpace any drama everywhere. Yes, we are doomed without chicken – damn you, avian flu!

LATEST ᒫᐦᒡ ᑎᐹᒋᒧᐧᐃᓐ

Sonny Orr is Cree from Chisasibi, and has been a columnist for the Nation for over 20 years. He regularly pens Rez Notes from the cozy social club in Whapmagoostui where he resides.