I like a bit of mongrel myself,
whether it’s a man or a dog;
they’re the best for everyday.
-George Bernard Shaw
Dear Mr. Deer Hunting Man,
This may surprise you if you have preconceived notions about bleeding-heart liberals and animal activists, but I actually have no problem with you hunting deer. The deer population here along the DE/PA/MD border is frankly insane, they can’t possibly find enough food to stay healthy, the Lyme disease problem grows worse every year (we’ve had one dog and two humans in this household fall prey so far, that we know of). And certainly a well-placed shot is far more humane than a fast-moving car.
I readily acknowledge the fact that hunters truly understand where food comes from, and the sacrifice that goes along with that. I think it’s a healthier relationship with meat than most people have: buying it neatly wrapped in plastic, bearing no resemblance to the clucking, oinking, or doe-eyed creature it originated from.
I also really, really love the brilliant programs by which hunters can donate venison to local food banks to help feed the homeless and needy in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
I realize that it’s vitally important to field-dress your kill to bring the temperature of the meat down quickly, and to keep the ick in the digestive bits from breaking open during transport. I imagine that’s no good for the venison.
And I totally get that you thought you were being nice, tossing ol’ Jimmy the deer heart as a treat. I hear it’s delicious sliced thin and sautéed with onion on a sandwich.
But unless you’ve got some sort of documentation that this particular deer didn’t have worms, or Lyme, or something else I’m not thinking of, Jimmy’s not allowed to have it. Mr Hunter Man, have you ever tried to take a deer heart from a beagle mix? It’s not easy. Jimmy literally tried to choke the thing down whole rather than give it up.
I almost died laughing, though. It was nice to see Jimmy act like a dog- normally he just likes to lay on the couch and watch TV- and the absurdity of the whole thing just overtook me. Tears falling down my face. My kids thought I’d really gone round the bend this time.
When you go to let the dog in you just about never expect to see him holding an enormous heart in his mouth.
(Do I miss city living? Not a chance.)
P.S. To every thing there is a season: while I was aware of the big game hunting available- deer, elk, bear, etc- I was surprised by what else you can hunt in PA. Didja know there are seasons for squirrels, woodchucks, starlings, crows (! Not my beloved crows!), English sparrows, coyotes, raccoon, foxes, beaver, and freaking bobcat? For some reason these small-game kills bother me more; maybe because you don’t use the meat; this is mainly for sport (and in some cases, population control, but I still don’t like it).
How do you feel about hunting? My opinion has definitely evolved over time.
What’s the worst thing your pet ever brought in the house?