Sunday, October 27, 2013

Oh, Dear, It's Deer Season

Hunting season got underway in Nova Scotia on Friday so it's time to deck out the dogs in blaze orange. My husband found these fleece "collars" -- did the designer think dogs have necks like giraffes?? Fully unrolled, the tubes would fall past their noses. Well, their ears will be warm.

I don't know why they look like this! The collars don't bother them.

For me, a city girl, hunting season is the downside of country living.
We're pretty lucky where we live. We don't get a lot of hunters coming in the unimproved road, although thanks to the big clearcut job done back in the woods this summer, there is now an actual road to tempt hunters. Luckily, our normal walk through the woods ends just past our own property line, at the beaver brook, so we shouldn't be in any danger.

My annual blaze orange fashion show.
A friend in Ontario once told the story of going horseback riding on her friend's well-posted rural property and stepping out of the woods to find three hunters with their rifles aimed at them. Not only were they hunting on private, posted property, they weren't able to tell that what they heard were two horses coming through the trees. Proves you can't be too careful, and hunters can't be too smart.

My husband has decided he wants a buck this year. First time since I met him seven year ago that he has gone hunting. He started shooting partridge last fall and we enjoyed eating those tiny little birds. But really, he has to stop watching those Alaska backwoods shows because now he talks about "getting our meat for the winter". I don't venison so likely I'll be able to make good on my plan to eat less meat.
This is how irrational government policies are: You can shoot a buck with a special permit but you can only shoot a doe if you win a doe license. Yet there are more does than bucks, and bucks keep the gene pool refreshed. My husband thinks our deer are getting smaller and he reasons it's because the bucks are breeding their own offspring.
Perhaps we should draw to shoot the bucks, and allow people only one or two doe a season.
In the argument of population control, Nature takes care of an imbalance; if there are too many deer, vehicles and disease will reduce the population. It's incredible how many dead raccoons are littering the roads this year.

I have yet to reconcile myself to hunting. I don't like it, can't imagine killing an animal as beautiful as a deer. Yet I know all my meat comes from an animal that was once alive, raised in a food-factory setting, and likely suffered for that far more than any deer does. It's the beauty and freedom of a wild animal that pulls at my heart strings. Keeps me from ever pulling a trigger even just to experience that connection between taking the life and consuming the life.

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