Angels prospect Kaleb Cowart knows that a good way to arouse the suspicion of the Transportation Safety Administration is to put a bullet somewhere in your luggage at the airport. But accidents happen, as he tweeted nine days ago:
Well my day started off great! TSA found a pistol bullet in my bag while going through security! #huntingproblems
— Kaleb Cowart (@KalebCowart) February 11, 2013
The #HuntingProblems hashtag could become a popular one in the Angels’ clubhouse.
Cowart, pitchers Michael Kohn and Bobby Cassevah, and outfielders Josh Hamilton and Mike Trout all hunt in their spare time. (Cowart, so far as we know, is the only one to get caught with a bullet in his luggage).
Regarded as the top prospect in the Angels’ system, Cowart said he learned to hunt when he was 5 or 6 years old growing up in in Adel, Georgia, a small town less than an hour from the Florida border.
The 20-year-old third baseman said he keeps a collection of his mounted game at his parents’ home in Adel. “I’ve got stuff everywhere. My badger’s mounted in there. Ducks, geese, coyotes, pheasant. My girlfriend bagged a deer.”
Not every animal in his collection met its end with a bullet. Cowart described himself as “more of a bowhunter.”
“It’s a different world,” he said. “It’s harder. You’re closer to the animals.”
Cowart demonstrated by pointing from his corner of the Angels’ dressing room to the other, perhaps 60 feet away. Shooting an animal at that close of a distance is “a rush,” he said, albeit one most of us know nothing about.
Bowhunting (which falls under the larger umbrella of archery) is a niche sport. Many read the “The Hunger Games” trilogy or saw the movie of the same name, but most people have never held a crossbow let alone fired a loaded bow for sport. Cowart points out that it makes sense as a hobby for baseball players, since hunting seasons typically take place in autumn.
In the green backwoods of Georgia, it’s a natural extension of the lifestyle.
“There’s not too many people that don’t hunt where I’m from,” Cowart said. “It’s just fun to be outdoors.”