I love birds. I love hunting birds. I have since I were a lad.
Once I had Mrs. BB in my sight, it took a good 6 months of patient tracking and stalking before I nailed my target. She was very sporty.
When she (surprisingly) agreed to marry me, I limited my bird hunting to the boreal forest. 1 in the bag is better than 2 in the bush.
In Norway, hunting requires a government proficiency exam. This is a good measure as a course that teaches safety must be taken. It trains newbies to not accidently blow each other’s heads off.
Having hunted, been on shoots, and capably handled my weapon for many years I assumed I would not require this proficiency exam. I was wrong. They don’t call this country NOWAY for no reason.
As the course and exam are in Norwegian I have avoided it to date. I speak social Norwegian, but this level of Norwegian language is a big challenge for me.
Never one to let rules get in the way, in past years I chose to hunt using my UK license, albeit illegally. I would claim ignorance in the event of an altercation. Members of my family-in-law are very law abiding, as are most Norwegians. My criminal activity was clearly no longer acceptable.
I started the course this week. Our instructor is Crocodile Lars. He has an impressive track record as a hunter and fisherman. He has spent months alone in the Canadian outback surviving on his bounty. He is really cool. He looks like Woody Allen and has many of Woody’s mannerisms. A bit surreal really.
Crocodile Lars is Swedish and speaks Svorsk, as sort of Swedish Norwegian. I can barely understand a word he says but with his acting out of great hunting vignettes using arm and hand gesticulations I think I get the message.
His English is excellent and he loves sharing his stories with me, particularly his Canadian ones. He is good value!
Thankfully, he has informed me he will be able to sit the final exam by my side, in a room separate room, and translate to English where required. Of course, being linguistically incompetent, I will get more time to complete the exam.
I am both relieved and grateful. This is where NOWAY makes up for its initial high barriers. It often caves into practical compromise.
I am exhilarated at the thought of bird hunting this year and the subsequent repast. I always eat the birds I catch.