I was on the other side of the house when I heard Tim. He was yelling, and he's not by nature a yeller.
I yelled back, "What?????!!!!!!" because it's my nature to be a yeller when the situation calls for it.
Out of the yelling, I picked out the words "Get out here" and "Quick"
So I charged out thinking that something was terribly wrong.
He had a facebook picture up:
I recognized him right away. This is from one of our game cameras. See how he has a drop tine that comes down low in front of his face? That's not common.
I know that some people don't agree with hunting, but the deer population is huge here. The roads are littered with the carcasses of deer that have been hit by cars. Don't even talk to me about what they did to my raspberry runners that I was so proud of. They do tremendous crop damage on farms. In the end, when the numbers get out of control, you have a die off during a hard winter. Food is so scarce that they simply starve to death. Nature will control those numbers, but starving to death is a cruel and slow way to die,
In any case, Tim is a hunter. Venison makes up the bulk of the red meat we consume. We process the meat ourselves. Usually one deer goes straight to hamburger. The other goes to steaks and chops and roasts. Sometimes there are three deer, and we are generous in our giving to others.
Although I understand that venison must be harvested, I harbored a secret hope. This fellow was an old deer, and he was wise. He had escaped the hunters last year. I was kind of hoping he would outwit them this year as well. I wasn't trying to curse Tim or anything. After all, there are plenty of other deer in the woods. He was welcome to any one (or two, or even three) of those.
After two years of knowing he was out there, I knew that he was out there no more. Looking at the pictures, made me a little sad.
Tim studied the pictures of the other hunter with his prize. He's a simple man, but he was wallowing around in some very deep covetousness. He was sad too.
Two completely different sads though.
Hunting is most assuredly legal and if done in a humane way I guess it's alright... certainly a billion times better than the horribly cruel CAFOs that supply most folks with their meat. But I still couldn't look something in the eye & then deprive it of its life. It's just not in me to do that. If I had to kill what I ate, I'd be a vegetarian, for sure. As it is, I go out of my way to buy a quarter steer once a year from a local farmer that I KNOW treats his cows well. I know how they're transported to the processor & I also know the family-owned processor too & their philosophies. My conscience is clear when I eat supper cooked in my kitchen. That's the only way I can eat meat. Bless you folks for allowing your meat to live free until, in the blink of an eye, they're deceased. ~Andrea xoxoReplyDelete
We have a longstanding agreement in this house. Tim slaughters the meat. I slaughter the vegetables. I realize that this makes me a bit of a hypocrite. I don't have the stomach for it.ReplyDelete
We had hogs on our farm for a number of years before we sold the business to focus on other things. Several times I had personal favorites that for one reason or another had to be slaughtered and made into pork chops and roasts. It was always a hard thing to do but I always tried to focus on the sacrifice they made for my well being. That buck will provide food for another family out there this winter.ReplyDelete
I have hunted off and on over the years but pretty much gave it up when I started a family. I just didn't have the excitement of doing it as others had. For me, it was simply making an animal become the sacrifice for my stomach. Eventually, I just asked those who were excited about it if they would do the shooting and leave the deer to be processed into burger. We used to go through one deer annually this way but in the last four years, we haven't. We just don't eat much red meat anymore and so the space to store a deer for several years in our freezer isn't worth it. We now just buy beef in small bundles from a local beef farmer and that is enough to get us through a year.
I've never been a hunter and I wouldn't want to do it, but I understand the need for it. As you said, it does help control animal populations. (At least in the case of deer.)ReplyDelete
This deer had a much better death than the ones that will starve to death this winter. Over population of deer causes so much suffering. Starving is a cruel way to die.ReplyDelete
You may not know this about me, Debby, but I've been a vegan for well over five years now. But..... I'm still very much in favor of hunting since deer populations must be properly managed. Otherwise, it's often a bad death for them from starvation or disease. Also, I'm totally in favor of trapping (which my husband does) since I've seen first hand the costly damage critters can do (beavers, otters, etc.) I haven't done any hunting myself in years (other than an occasional squirrel), but I sure do love to fish. Plus we have cattle in our pasture. (I just don't think about what happens to them) And no, my husband is NOT a vegan, so I still cook some sort of animal protein every day.ReplyDelete
I can understand Tim's sadness, though I'm kinda glad that particular deer didn't end up in your freezer. It might have felt too personal.
the second wave is starting and in a pandemic it is usually the 2nd wave that kills the majority of people. You baby boomers are all going to die of corona-virus and finally the world will be able to make progress when you boomers are all deadReplyDelete
Every hunter I've known was serious about being ethical hunters, putting the meat in their freezer, their neighbor's, or the local food bank. And there still are too many deer.ReplyDelete
I can appreciate the feelings you express here about that buck. A number of years as I was growing up we lived in the country after my my mother eventually re-married following my father having deserted our family. Her second husband introduced me to aspects of wildlife new to me, including hunting. Whether we were fishing, hunting, the activity was not simply killing for sport. We ate what we caught or shot -- except for the weasels that got in the chicken coop one night slaughtering our chickens whose eggs we sold along with some of the birds we cleaned, dressed and sold, too. A balance in wildlife is critical with some predators needing to be present as they've discovered with wolves and the positive impact they've had in at least one of our national parks, Yellowstone, I think. Preservation of elk, deer other species benefit in the long run. Enjoy your venison.ReplyDelete