Warmer, snow covered, unfrozen ground with moist 20-30 degree weather welcomed those stalwart, orange-clad deer gun toting hunters today the first day of gun deer hunting 2014.Songs were being sung and excitement was building throughout the end of this last week – smiles gracing the faces of otherwise somber, bearded, flannel-shirted middle-aged men.
Sigh. As per usual I’m sticking close to buildings and wearing orange to ward off random poorly aimed slugs. A large percentage of the deer, also knowing what season it is, have moved into thickets, soggy marshes and closer to buildings to ward off being targets. I saw the tracks of a small herd crossing my horse pasture and headed for a stand of trees and brush bordering our property – they have successfully hidden out in this spot for several years.
This year, since 24 deer per square mile is inadequate concentration for successful hunting, there are no doe tags in our county.
The level of concentration of deer is quite adequate for deer/vehicular collisions and a boon to auto repair shops, building the economy locally, one deer at a time. Remember, there’s seldom just one trying to cross the road in front of you … more like three or four.
With the advent of off-site registration much of the gathering deer-registration joy and storytelling tradition has gone down the road. Social traditions and beer drinking with a bloody buck on the hood or hanging out the back of the pick-up truck be damned. Take a photo from the right angle and he’s shore a big’un. Onward facebook dead deer photo sharing.
Eight more days of wearing orange. Good luck everybody, stay out there ’til you get your buck … remember, don’t shoot at moving orange, or still orange or really anything that doesn’t have all the traits of a deer.