Some of the most entertaining conversations I have are over lunch with co-workers. Welcome to another installment in the “Lunch convos” series.

Neal with his 2017 turkey trophy.

At this particular lunch, we were having a discussion about how Blacksburg is not hunter-friendly. Neal is a consummate hunter. He often demonstrates turkey calling in our staff meetings and regales us with hunting and fishing stories. Most involve the “one that got away” – whether it be a fish, deer, turkey or jackalope.

Neal is a transplant from south Arkansas, and he was used to a small-town culture in which men in hunter’s orange or camouflage was not only indicative of the season but also a fashion statement. Upon moving to Blacksburg three years ago, he quickly began mapping streams, rivers and plots of land for potential food sources.

Now Blacksburg is anything but a hunters’ mecca. Being the home of Virginia Tech, rural is not the culture here. Though surrounded by communities that are very similar to south Arkansas, Blacksburg is a bastion for progressives, for recycling, for people who pick up their dog poop with little orange baggies. We often hear words like granola, green, or sustainable. The most popular bumper sticker is one that says “Coexist.”

After bemoaning the lack of an appreciation for hunting here, Neal said with a sigh:

“You just don’t see people in camouflage in Blacksburg.”

I said, “That’s because it’s really good camouflage.”

Drop the mic, folks.

On this day...