Orange coat, no white (check), stay in yard or go to town (check), orange vest on dog (check), and horses in close pasture (check), all for the joys of gun deer season in the country (for the next 9 days).
While city folks cheer on the onslaught of north traveling deer hunters (read those dumb guys with money to spend who become rugged outdoorsmen for a weekend), those of us non or ex-hunters who live in the pseudo-wilds are less enthused. Basically we suffer house-arrest or chance becoming a statistic.
Our error is in not profiting from the ‘Hunting Heritage’ (hear this in a God-like echoing surround sound voice). This year new hunters can get a license to shoot at deer for a mere $5 or even I could be included since it’s been more than 10 years since I had a license – all to support the ‘Hunting Heritage,’ but of course you still need orange clothes, a gun, ammunition, a place to stay, food, booze, a place to hunt, a tree stand, some buddies who know how to hunt, unscent or doe-scent, shooting practice, trail camera(s) and on and on.
A veritable bonanza of tourism just to get rid of an over population of white-tailed deer (26 – 45 deer per sq mile), which would otherwise be smashed on car hoods, eaten by wolves or coyotes or bears, parked in yards eating apples and fields eating corn and denuding all the lower tree growth in local forests. How many deer do you think it might be reasonable to have in a sq mile?
So far this year’s hunt started with a pre-dumping of snow and a first morning of minus 7 degrees. Pretty cold for not used to being outside all that much city-dwelling hunters, who don’t actually need a deer for food for the winter.
If I were hunting, I would have slept in, had flavored hot chocolate and maple-syrup blueberry pancakes for breakfast and maybe gone out for noon time deer stalk. Noon is when other early morning hunters head in (frozen) and so deer might be moving then. Stayed out for a couple hours of reclining in multi-layered comfort in the sun (out of the breeze) and then get back inside for evening hot meal (chili) and heated alcoholic beverages…maybe a board game or movie.
Since I’m not hunting I did sleep in, skipped the risk of sitting or standing in the random firing range, or falling out of a tree-stand and just enjoy the pancakes, hot apple crisp and we didn’t have chili, we’ve got a pot of turkey vegetable soup, yum.
This season is the latest Wisconsin gun deer season can run so the deer are already out of rut (think testosterone induced stupidity making them not notice orange people with guns). And its really cold, there’s a windchill. And mostly the trend has been hunters spending less and less time hunting. The DNR was forecasting a good hunt based on number of deer, but our ‘Hunting Heritage’ might not be strong enough.
Probably have to throw some more hunting discounts at it and maybe another grant for training and open any area that’s not open for hunting yet (cities and suburbs). Yes I think everyone should enjoy the chance of being mistaken for a deer.