Grasshopper hunting

By Raychel Hamada and Teal Gibo

The sky was ablaze with bolts of lighting the night we trekked out to hunt for grasshoppers. The seven of us that had singed up for the excursion were prepared, covered from neck to toe and equipped with our headlamps and flashlights. What we weren’t prepared for were the hundreds of insects flying toward the light of the headlamps and into our faces. It took awhile for us to finally decide to remove the lights from our heads and carry them in our hands instead. Once we did, it was an effective remedy, leading us to believe or discomforts were gone..but we were wrong. When our hunting guides led us to the field, we quickly realized our only option for becoming successful grasshopper catchers was to tromp through knee-deep water. With no previous training,  we were clueless as to what proper techniques of catching entailed. At first we were worried about squishing the grasshoppers and used tender approaches, which included a two-handed clasp and/or slowly pinching at the backs of their legs.  After observing the locals and our more talented peers, we attempted different techniques and were finally able to catch some. We found that the best way included 3 steps: 1) spot the grasshopper, 2) reach and grab with no hesitation and 3) while the grasshopper is struggling in your hand, safely deliver it into the insect trapper (aka, plastic water bottle).  Step 4 is presented the following day  and determined upon the hunter herself …to eat the protein-rich, crunchy/fried morsel? Or instead, let fears get the best of her stomach?

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