Here's a report from the front lines. I don't mean the insurrection in Baghdad, I'm referring to hunting season in Hunterdon County.
We're into our third month of this exercise of American manhood. A few little observations from my own farm might help enlighten. It's not quite the romantic bonding experience that you imagine. I've yet to encounter my first father and son slaying the wild beast to defend home and hearth while feeding the young'in's back home.
I did, however, observe a bow hunter last month while hiking through the woods. This gentleman must have weighed in at about 250 lbs. This was probably his first sporting experience since the hot dog eating competition at Nathan's.
He was perched in a tree with lunch and refreshments. Below him were scattered melons and corn. With the onset of winter the deer are without plentiful food. The smaller deer in particular can't find anything to eat and are quickly attracted to the pile of seeds. The great hunter must have been resting thirty or forty feet from his prey. Felling the helpless and hungry animal requires all of the skill and precision of a bather finding the surf. The arrow flies directly down on the feeding animal.
It only gets worse. The slaughter is only part of the story. Days latter my dog begins to arrive home with various body parts. Whole legs, ribs and skulls arrive at my door. It isn't enough that the animal is killed. The carcass is left to rot. Provisions have been made for homeless centers to receive the meat to feed the needy. It would make some sense out of the killing. It's just too hard to climb down from the tree and recover the dead animal. There's just so much exertion that one sport can impose on its participants.
Bow season hasn't even ended and last week I was greeted by the first evidence of the latest phase of hunting season. The roar of ATV's began to deliver the well armed marksmen of our State to the shooting gallery. No type of ATV is powerful enough because in this sport exercise is to be avoided at all costs.
Within hours our sportsmen had met with success. A small wounded doe was found hovering behind my barn. Her leg was nearly severed by a single blast from our precision marksmen. She shook in terror if you approached. Her panic caused her to urinate as her wide eyes conveyed pure terror. She couldn't move but she dragged herself on three legs to attempt a futile escape.
I'm not certain what was worse. Our sportsmen were such bad shots that they couldn't kill her or were too lazy to pursue the animal and end its misery.
I killed her. I ended her misery. Now I've become a part of this insanity. 60,000 deer will be slaughtered in New Jersey this year because we tolerate these yahoos and haven't the will to humanely control the population.
Now consider this. Many of the marginally stable under educated bloggers whose names appear below have guns. Need more convincing of the dimensions of the problem? Read their responses, consider their reasoning, evaluate their command of the language, and tell me that we don't have a problem.