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Monday, November 22

Hunters, Hunting, Death

by pissed off patricia

My father was a hunter. He came home one day when I was five years old and he had a dead, gutted, bloody deer strapped across the hood of his car. Somewhere in the family there's a picture of this event. He boasted for years about that day. He recycled the deer's hair and hide into a rug, its hooves into a gun rack, and its head became a wall hanging. It was one of the first and most awful things I ever experienced. For years and years, our house was a shrine to an animal that walked in the wrong place at the wrong time while a half drunk man was holding a fully loaded rifle in the Tennessee Mountains. Over the years, I saw that photo of him and his kill dozens of times as I wandering through our box of old photos. Now, more years have passed since I last saw the photo than the length of time during which I was exposed to it. I would love to erase it from my memory completely.

Unless one is starving, I cannot condone hunting. It's not a sport if you use a bow and arrow or a gun. No other sport uses a gun or bow and arrow to best the competition. No other sport allows one of the competitors to be armed. Even the title "Hunting" is misleading. It should be called Animal Killing. That's all it is. There are even reserves where animals are hand raised and kept in small areas where hunters can go and shoot them. No hunting is even involved in that unless you count hunting the yellow pages for the location of one of these reserves It's not man against beast. It's man's weapons against beast. What's there to brag about?

I've heard all the stories about deer populations needing thinning due to over population or lack of food stocks. This comes about because we have "hunted" down all the deer's predators or development has scrunched the populations into ever smaller areas. Either way, it's our fault and if there is such a need to thin herds, wouldn't it be better to have professionals doing the thinning instead of lunatics with loaded guns? (see my Bitchin' post today)

What the hell was someone thinking of when they decided that we would have a season when people could go into the woods wearing camouflage clothes, drinking alcohol and carrying loaded guns? If that isn't a recipe for disaster, what is? If it had never before occurred and someone suggested it now, that person would be deemed completely insane.

Now if you're thinking about telling me how hunters are environmentalists because they appreciate nature and they appreciate wildlife, don't. Groups like Ducks Unlimited are concerned about ducks because they want to have more ducks to shoot and kill. It's self-serving, pure and simple.

My father used the death of the deer to portray himself as the mighty victor, even though the odds were stacked against the deer's survival thanks to my father's use of a rifle. I feel that a hunter uses hunting season as an excuse to legally kill another living creature because the primitive part of his mind still wants to remind the tribe that he is the most macho, even if he has to cheat with an assault rifle to do it.

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