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Squirrel Hunting

I have mentioned in past posts that in my youth squirrel hunting was a pretty big deal. Today, in 2020, I realize that a lot of people would find that extremely strange. I can assure all of those skeptics that in the rural Appalachians squirrel hunting is alive and well and that squirrel and dumplings are still a dish that you look forward to. Truthfully, until just a few years ago small game, squirrels, in particular, were just about the only game animals with huntable populations in the rural Appalachians. A combination of primitive logging practices, the blight that killed off the wild chestnuts, and subsistence hunting during the depression had all but annihilated the game native to Western North Carolina. For all intents and purposes, the deer, wild turkey, and bear were extinct.

I think one story common in the region sums up what it was like in Western North Carolina during the depression years. During this time frame, people throughout rural America went to school in small, on…

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