Saturday, December 29, 2012

Deer hunting--doing it wrong and right

Two stories about young people hunting have appeared on my monitor within 24 hours.  Since I'm not one to ignore signals from the Internet and I have expressed my interest in hunting deer, I'm going to put the two together.

As an example of "deer hunting, you're doing it wrong," I present two young men who ended up being the subject of a WXYZ report: 2 men accused of hunting deer in Warren.

I have only two good things to say about this story.  First, they were bow hunting, which is less dangerous than shooting a gun inside a city, which would have gotten them in even more trouble.  Second, it's still deer archery season, which lasts until January 1st.  My wife has a third; she thinks they were doing the City of Warren a favor by removing a deer that could have caused a traffic accident.  In case you're wondering, my wife lived in the country for 15 years, so she's had plenty of experience with deer-car collisions.  Other than that, FAIL!

Follow over the jump for the story about "hunting, you're doing it right" from Slate.

Hipsters Who Hunt
More liberals are shooting their own supper.
By Emma Marris
Posted Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012, at 11:23 AM ET
I think the evolution of the new lefty urban hunter goes something like this:
2006: Reads Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, about the ickyness of the industrial food complex. Starts shopping at a farmer’s market.
2008: Puts in own vegetable garden. Tries to go vegetarian but falls off the wagon.
2009: Decides to only eat “happy meat” that has been treated humanely.
2010: Gets a chicken coop and a flock of chickens.
2011: Dabbles in backyard butchery of chickens. Reads that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg decided to only eat meat he killed himself for a year.
2012: Gets a hunting permit, thinking “how hard can it be? I already totally dominate Big Buck Hunter at the bar.”
Hunting is undeniably in vogue among the bearded, bicycle-riding, locavore set. The new trend might even be partly behind a recent 9 percent increase from 2006 to 2011 in the number of hunters in the United States after years of decline. Many of these new hunters are taking up the activity for ethical and environmental reasons.

“It feels more responsible and ecologically sound to eat an animal that was raised wild and natural in my local habitat than to eat a cow that was fattened up on grain or even hay, which is inevitably harvested with fuel-hungry machines,” writes Christie Aschwanden, a self-described “tree-hugging former vegetarian.”
This article is worth reading and thinking about and much of what it has to say is on target, pun intended.  The one exception is the suggestion that hunter put their venison and other wild-caught meat up for sale at farmers markets.  Several commenters pointed out that this is a very bad idea for a number of reasons, and I agree with them.  Other than that, I'm OK with the ideas in this article.  Quite a few of the commenters aren't, and I recommend reading the entire piece and all the comments for the controversy the author has raised.

As for me, I pointed out what I thought more than a year and a half ago, when I commented on an article in a linkspam with my experience with deer out in the country.
The last year I lived out in the country, the deer ate my shrubs up to the seven foot level. Good thing they were eight feet tall at the time. I vowed that if I were still in my house the next firearms deer season, I'd finally break down and buy a rifle and a deer hunting license. Fortunately for the deer, my house sold that April, so I didn't have to follow through.

Hey, I was a Republican for 22 years. Some habits die hard.
This remark elicited the only comments on the entry.  Andrea G. replied:
No, you're exactly right. In most parts of the U.S. we have wiped out the top predator (wolves), so now there are too many deer. The hunting lobby likes it that way, as a response to the narrow window of time in which it's legal to hunt. So, in the long run we have two options: Reintroduce wolves and persuade people not to shoot them, or eat the deer ourselves until their population reaches a more natural level. In the mean time, our forests are being overgrazed.

(This is much like the way that every part of the kudzu plant is edible, and it needs to become the hot new salad green of the South.)
I responded:
Getting more hunters and eating more deer is the response I expect. Actually re-introducing wolves would be too much for most people. On the other hand, allowing wolves to spread on their own, which is happening, and then convincing people to leave them alone might be doable.

I like the idea of eating kudzu. If I were living in Dixie and writing a comparable blog down there, I'd be posting recipes.
Speaking of kudzu recipes, lists eleven.  Happy eating!

No comments:

Post a Comment