Sunday, November 18, 2012

Warning – Graphic Content

I debated whether to write about my first deer gutting.  But I can’t help it.  It is a very momentous occasion for someone who moves to the wood and plans on hunting and preserving meat to supplement the food supply.

My son is a hunter.  He took his first buck at 13, a pig at 15 and he hunted this year here in NEWA.  Although he hasn’t ‘killed’ anything this year, hunting isn’t about killing at all.  It’s about hunting.  It’s about primal instincts.  It’s about bonding with comrades.  Hunting teaches survival skills, respect for property, respect for nature and respect for oneself. 

Now that we live in NEWA, I have learned several lessons about hunting.  I have seen hunters disrespect the law, property and wildlife.  I have seen hunters having an incredible time together without taking any life whatsoever.  I have now seen a deer just after the kill, taken with respect and butchered.  It isn’t a pleasant sight.  

Hunting is a part of life.  Unfortunately, there are many who give a bad name to hunting.  They take, they kill, they trespass and they do so with no consideration or remorse.

Hunting teaches our youth about firearms, safety, respect for property, respect for nature and respect for self.  This doesn’t occur without some lessons about what NOT to do.  For instance, when you drive by a hunting party that has harvested animals, how did they treat the environment, the animals and the private property of others?

I’ve now seen trespassers with no respect.  I’ve seen dead deer hanging and flaunted in large numbers.  I’ve seen hunters illegally hunt from the road.  Some people have made me ill with their tactics.  But I have learned that many hunters do care and do take the time teach the youth the ethical ways to treat animals, the environment and other hunters. 

The pictures I have included are of a typical deer hunt.  You track the animal, take the shot, and make the kill.  You locate and tag your kill, and gut the animal, being careful not to taint he meat.  It’s not for the faint of heart. 

Hunting season is coming to a close this year.  I am happy about that because I feed the deer here at the house.  I have regulars that come in nightly for their treat of corn.  I would not hunt these ‘pets’ in my yard.  I don’t allow others to do so either.  One of my favorite visitors was killed this year not one hour after he left my feed bucket.  I cried about it.  I led him here and he was slaughtered in the next field.  Humans are too many I think.  I wonder what it would feel like to be hunted.

On a positive note, a huge buck (many many points) visited two nights ago and again last night.  We haven’t seen him in many months, if ever.  He has less than 24 hours to go to survive another hunting season.  He is smart enough to stay hidden until after dark.  I am on his side.  I want to see him next year and the years after.  Life in NEWA.  I love it.  The deer love it too.

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