Monday, November 20, 2006

What's the dl with hunting?

Today is Day 436 of the Sobey's strike. It's hard to believe they've been picketing that long.

The other day I was walking across the fields and I stumbled upon three deer. The first thought that goes through my mind when that happens around this time of year is, "oh crap... is it hunting season?" Because it could very well be the last thought that goes through your mind. I stood there for about 10 minutes, watching them, until they got impatient and started stamping their feet and coming closer to see if I would move. I always know it's hunting season when my dad gets out the binoculars and looks for poachers.

I don't get hunting. I don't understand the mindset that it's fun to kill things. I can understand if people hunt for meat, and extra points for use of bow and arrows. But is it really a "sport" where you sit around with guns and see who can kill the least-suspecting animal? That's like competetive sitting, except with guns.

A few years ago my dad had the crosshairs of a hunter's scope pointed at him. That could have been terribly devastating. Another time, some hunters followed the schoolbus to my house and, when I emerged from the bus, said "There are some deer down in the creek, can we go shoot them?" My response: "?? Those are my llamas!!!" Besides which, it's hard to miss the "Wildlife Sanctuary! No Tresspassing! Permission Required for Access!" signs all over. So I think I'm justified in not liking hunting.

I know as well as anybody that too many deer cause problems. Heck, I spent many years wiring hundreds of trees so that deer wouldn't destroy them. Some years two hundred deer would lounge around in our back yard. Then there was the winter of the deer virus (whatever it was) where they were dropping like flies all over. I remember one day when two were laying by the llama barn, and I walked right up to them and looked them in the eye but they were too sick to move. Later that day I helped pile up and burn over 50 deer carcasses that were scattered around the farm. I seem to remember some people lamenting that the virus was making for poor hunting that year. Oh, how terrible for you hunters; the deer are dying off faster than you can kill them. And I guess deer are bad news when you run into them on the road and they come through your windshield and kick your head in to mush, but as far as I know that's only happened once within living memory around here.

As much as I dislike hunting, I can at least tolerate it (unlike poaching, I might add). After all, my brother and I made good money one year when we combed all the nearby sloughs for fallen antlers (it involved a fair amount of rafting down the Wascana), and sold them to a local taxidermist. But taxidermy too I can't quite fathom. Who wants dead animals standing in their basement, or stuffed heads hanging on their walls? That's as creepy as the guy who had himself stuffed after his death. Or almost.


Anonymous said...

Wear a hat with flashing red lights and sirens on it if you're going to go wandering in the field!

That must have been very unfun to pile up the dead deer.


Lapsura said...

Very unfun. But I'm forbidden to go for walks during hunting season. Maybe I could wear the hat for fun anyway :)

Lapsura said...

Last year certain individuals bragged that they had shot so many deer that their dogs were sick of the meat. So after that they went west and shot 5 or 6 deer, skinned them and left the meat in a coulee, waited until coyotes came to eat them, then shot as many coyotes as they could.

There's a tiny strip of Crown land by our place that you have to drive across posted land to get to. Apparently people like to go onto the posted land, flush out deer, and shoot them in the brief seconds that they are on the Crown land strip. Hunting season would be only a fraction of the headache it currently is if people would just play by the rules in their stupid "sport."

Anonymous said...

Hunting is just an excuse to shoot a rifle or a gun.

.. there are other things that I would rather point my gun at.