Musings on the first day of hunting season

The hunters are out in full force today.  I see them driving past my house, decked out in orange, looking at the field where our herd usually eat.

I don’t hunt.  Let’s make this clear first thing.  I’m not bred for animal hunting because I’m the kind of person who, if I hit a chipmunk with my car, try my best to turn around and take it out of the road.

However, I have no qualms with the idea of hunting, because it tends to keep the herd healthy, especially when it comes to deer.  After all, we’re over-run with these creatures in Lunenburg County.  Anyone who travels on Trunk 10 at night knows this; it’s hard NOT to hit a deer with your car.

My problem is with deer baiting.

I keep seeing trucks travelling with trailers full of deer carrots from the valley.  Some farmers grow cheap carrots that are sold by the truck load, just for this purpose.

Feeding deer… I don’t have a problem with that so long as it carries through the cold winter months.

But it seems too easy to shoot a deer at a carrot or apple pile, especially now that deer in Lunenburg County have transformed from wild creatures into animals that are as tame as cows.

In fact, around here, it’s hard to avoid killing a deer with your car or by shooting a random bullet into the woods.

To me, baiting a deer is a bit like fishing from a stocked pond.  Oh sure, you get your fish, but you miss the fun of stomping through the woods, trying not to let sticks crack beneath your feet, as the mist of dawn slowly burns off… and there you see the buck of your dreams… inching his way through a carpet of moss.  You’re so excited, little puffs of breath make a trail through the frosty morning.

I compare it to dating from an internet site, which is really like a stocked pond of fish.  Sure you might catch something, but it’s not the same as running in to someone at the grocery store (or hey, while hunting in the woods!)

It’s no fair to hunt at night with a flashlight… it doesn’t seem fair to lure animals with food.

We don’t live in a natural world anymore, yes.  Perhaps shooting a deer with a modern weapon isn’t really hunting anyway (so is it okay with a bow?) but I would think that part of the sport of hunting involves more cunning that deer baiting.

Now that I’ve had my rant… anyone have any deer steak up for grabs?

This time of year, anything brown isn't safe...
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