Alright, I am sure I am going to get flamed for this, but while reading my field and stream I stumbled across this in the total outdoorsman article. Now I may be out of touch, but seriously this was 30 years ago in 1980, not during the great depression.
Is this for real?
Can't speak to Boatwright's story, but it brought back the memory of squirrels shot for my grandmother in the early '70s. I was in college and visiting with my grandmother, who'd lived by herself on a West Virginia hill farm since my grandfather's passing some years earlier, when she allowed that she sure would enjoy a squirrel dinner. At that time I'd not picked up a gun in the year or two since coming back from the service and didn't know that I ever would, despite the great passion hunting had been in my boyhood. So I hemmed and hawed, but dug grandpa's .22 from the closet and some shells from the cupboard, and went out "around the hill" to a stand of hickories populated by fat fox squirrels that never knew a hunter and shot a mess. Was nice to have been in the woods again and nicer, yet, to be come home with a hefty fistful of tails.
Grandma must have been watching from the kitchen window, because she ran out into the yard to greet me all aglow. And then her smile faded when she looked at my haul, and it came to me in a shameful rush that I'd head shot them, a sinful waste of brains and cheeks. Grandma, being Grandma, said, "No matter.", but I was mortified, peeled those, and went back out to shoot another mess as I'd been taught: through the ribs missing back and shoulders, wasting precious little of consequence.
Don't know if there's a statute of limitations on WVa game laws, but I'll admit I shot two limits that day, so Grandma had plenty of squirrel put up to last her awhile. Still, before I left for campus, she wondered aloud if it wouldn't be best if I came back and made another pass or two around the hill to thin the population some for its own good, or something of that kind. Which I did, time and again that winter, and every one as long as I lived in that part of the country. Even after she'd gone on to meet Grandpa. In fact, I never missed another season of hunting after that.
Won't say how long it took to dawn on me that wise old gal may have wanted to see me back in the woods with a gun, doing the thing she knew I'd loved, much worse than she wanted squirrel dinner.