Opening Day of Hunting Season

It is opening day, if I remember right.

Up heah Opening Day is a big deal – oh wait what is Opening Day? Why it is the first day of deer season opens for gun hunters today.

The neighbors and family have been sighting in their rifles, patterning the buckshot from their shotguns and putting out stands in the areas they know hope the deer will be.

Family Tradition

I grew up hunting, just about my entire family hunts every year, TheWife doesn’t care if I hunt, I am a Life member of the North American Hunting Club (have been one for 20 years) and hunted most of my adult life.  How come after all that, why am I not out chasing Bambi’s mom and dad around the woods with my 45/70 in my hands today?

To be honest, I really don’t know.

I guess the passion for the “hunt” and kill doesn’t excite me, like it used to.

Killing a deer doesn’t bother me (I enjoy a nice piece of venison cooked up in butter, in a cast iron skillet as much or more than anyone) and I certainly am not anti-hunting, but it seems as though I am moving in a different direction.  I have gotten so that I prefer to shot my quarry with a camera rather than a gun or a bow.

This Morning

This morning while walking Bennie, I saw 4 deer walking across the road by the big field and chuckled.

Karma I guess, I never saw a deer on opening day in my life and today carrying my camera I saw a total of four.  Even though I would never take this shot with a gun, because it wasn’t safe and it is on a road (therefore illegal), but it was a nice image, they were not in any particular hurry and made for a nice memory that I captured with my camera (I just wish I had a better camera).

Yes it is Posted

Last week, we had some hunters stop out on the side of the road just down from the house and look at our property. TheWife heard them say “They have posted it.” The other one said “its only posted, it doesn’t say anything about no hunting, we can still hunt here”.  They left before I could get out there and clarify what posted means.

So I went out and re-positioned the posted signs to be more obvious and yes Posted means no hunting as well – without our permission.

It saddens me that some hunters choose to have this attitude toward landowners who post their property, but I believe that my intent is pretty clear. Unless hunters have our permission, we don’t want unknown hunters on our property.  There are now too many houses around and unless you know where you are, the chances of hitting one with a missed shot are too great.  No we prefer to know who is hunting on our property and yes we have given a few people permission to hunt here, but we know who they are.

Inconvenience

For many who have chosen not to hunt, but still like being outdoors, hunting season has become an inconvenience.  Hiking or long walks in the woods are not advisable, unless you are geared up in fluorescent orange (which we will wear most of the time outdoors for the next month).  Then hunters get pissed if you are traipsing around where they have a stand, after all you have the woods the rest of the year and they only have a relatively small window to get their deer – right?

Not really, but that is the attitude that many hunters do have – I know I used to have that same attitude.

The reality is that

lot of people who are not hunters choose to not go in the woods during hunting season for many reasons – safety being first and foremost. Which is unfortunate, because hunters and others who use the woods need to learn to co-exist and not be obnoxious to each other – a little respect for each other goes a long way, even if you don’t agree with what the other is doing.

Finally

Will I ever hunt again?  Yes I am pretty sure that I will, I like the taste of venison too much.  However, will I ever have the passion for the hunt that I used to – no I don’t think so. Hunting to me has become something that I will do to harvest meat for the freezer or table.  More of a utilitarian task, than something that I want to do for pleasure.  It will be interesting how I approach hunting again, when I decide it is time to carry a bow or a gun in the woods.

What do you think?

3 thoughts on “Opening Day of Hunting Season

  1. Well, as one might expect from a person who writes a blog about "green" living, I'm not an advocate of hunting … in fact, I don't kill anything … not even bugs. I, too, grew up in a family of hunters. They were devout until one year when my 17-year old cousin was shot by someone who partied too much, got too little sleep, and shot at a noise. My cousin died … and so did the tradition of hunting in my family. In my opinion, too many armed people head for the forest without adequate knowledge and respect for nature, life or other people's property. Hunters ignoring your sign is a typical example. And yes, I'm one of those people who won't go into the forest that I love when it's hunting season because I'm not willing to bet my life that the hunters in the area have a clue as to what they are doing.I'm also concerned about the way many states have "managed" animal populations through hunting. It's not efficient and, in many cases, animal populations have been all but eliminated. And it's not like anyone really needs to kill for food … mostly it's a sport. I won't even get started on hunting farms or enclosures where animals are trapped and "hunted". My personal feeling is that if a person wants to hunt, they should first be thrown into an area without anything but their wit for protection and hunted by carnivorous animals. If they survive, they've earned the right to hunt other animals.I'm glad that you only shoot with your camera these days!

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  2. @Sharpshooter – Interesting how? Not sure what you meant.@Small Footprints – I am sorry for your families' loss and understand your attitude towards hunting. I agree there are too many hunters who need to do things very differently than they do, while they are in the woods.I really don't know why I stopped hunting, other than it took too much time out of a busy life at the time. Then I just never picked it up again. The deer this morning, made me stop and reflect on why I wasn't out there and that is why I wrote this post.I still consider myself a hunter and as I said in my post I will probably hunt again, it is a skill that I believe will be necessary as a part of my simple living and frugal lifestyles – also the meat is much healthier than what I can buy at the store. The animals and birds I hunt have a much better chance of continuing to live when I hunt them, than the farm critters that are killed to put meat in the freezer or on the table. Anytime we eat meat, someone killed for food, if you eat a plant you kill a plant. However, I disagree with you position on how many states manage animal populations through hunting. I believe that It is an part of an effective way to control animal populations consistently so that you don't have huge winter kill-off of critters during the winter, which I have witnessed the results of and never want to see that again. I respect your opinion, but respectfully do not agree with you on this subject.So we will agree to disagree about hunting and not go any further into a discussion that neither will change the other's mind.ThanksHarold

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