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Thursday, November 01, 2012

The conversation today during Afternoon Recreation...

Twice a day the community come together for recreation. 
The evening recreation is usually on a spiritual topic 
but the afternoon one is quite open.
how to make an old shed's foundation
into a goose pond.

Background information to the conversation of today's recreation. 

When the city of Tours needed a bishop, 
St Martin the great monk was chosen 
but Martin was reluctant to become bishop, 
which is why he hid from those who came in search of him. 
Finding nowhere else to hide
he took emergency shelter in the nearest place possible. 
Alas it was a stable filled with geese. 
The noise made by the geese betrayed St Martin's whereabouts. 
He was taken from the stable to be consecrated bishop against his will 
but not without his first killing one of the geese 
that had so unkindly betrayed him. 
This incident left us the tradition of eating goose 
for his feast day, Martinmas, 
which is only ten days hence.

 St Martin with our recreation's 

The conversation focused on the challenge of catching a goose for St Martin's Day.
During but 30 minutes we discussed the following subjects:

  • the effects of wind on bullets; 
  • the keen sight of geese; 
  • deer stalking, 
  • antler points, antler shedding, the effect of minerals on the number of points 
  • the 14 year old Armish boy who caught a 30 point buck with his hand made bow and arrow; it was one of America's largest bucks, weighing 304 lb. 
  • personal experience of deer stalking with a rifle
  • personal experience of hunting with bow and arrow 
  • personal experience of using the "recurve" bow, it's range
  • the different hunting seasons in America 
  • different kinds of bows and quivers 
  • the manufacture of arrows, both carbon and wooden
  • the way the arrow tip for hunting wild fowl is not sharp because it kills by impact and does not need to pierce the body of the bird 
  • the "hard line" archers who make their own wooden arrows and shun carbon ones! 
  • personal experience of owning and using a "recurve" bow
  • two styles in bow shooting
  • how the crossbow is classed as a firearm
  • the speed  of the white tail deer in fleeing from bowshot 
In all it was a very interesting and lively discussion 
about survival and living off of the land.
There is no shortage of wild geese on Papa Stronsay,
but catching them has often proved to be "a wild goose chase"
even with a rifle...... But not always.

A monastery marksman,
Br. Jean Marie, F.SS.R.

Let us see if a goose is cooked in honour of St Martin!


Anonymous said...

I assume any donated bows and arrows would be for recreational purposes only as, when I last checked, bowhunting is illegal in the UK.

If the clear and crisp weather around the Pentland Firth extended to Stronsay, you picked a good day to be outside.


Joseph Shaw said...

That is fascinating, I didn't know the story (though my nine-year old daughter, an avid reader of hagiography, did!)

I recently discovered that St Hugh of Lincoln also has a good as an attribute? I found what is assumed to be his figure tomb, complete with goose, in Ely Cathedral:

Michelle Therese said...

We have about 1,698,327 wild geese, free range AND organic, destroying our farm. Send Br. Jean Marie over any day!!

Mike Ortiz said...

Wonderful! I have spent many a day praying out on a deer-stand.

It's the Lord's bounty.

Praise be to Him!

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