Yes deer, no deer
Well, once again it's deer hunting season here in the country so I thought I'd express some more thoughts on the subject. I realize that last month, when I recited that joke about the Muslim, the Christian and the deer going into a bar, some of you accused me of deerophobia, but to that all I can say is lighten up, it was a joke. Racy? Yes. Off-color? Yes. Scatological? Well, a bit. But all the same, it was just a joke and funnier than "h" "e" double-toothpicks. So chill. I'm a dog. Learn to live with it. I'm gonna be dead relatively soon in human years anyway. Save your hate mail for where it can make a difference.
Now don't get me wrong. I enjoy a choice, Grade-A two-week-old chunk of rotting deer carcass as much as the next dog. The aroma alone is to die for. But when it comes to having a philosophical position on an official season specifically designated for the hunting of such antlered creatures, well, all I can say is that I'm a herder not a hunter. So I asked Woody, who's more of a hunter by genetic pre-disposition, to explain the rationale to me.
As you might imagine, I first had to sit through a long harangue about how having any official period when he could NOT hunt deer or any other d*** thing he was interested in killing and eating, or just killing, or even just chasing with intent to do bodily harm, was a violation of his constipational rights and how could any meat-loving dog (referring to me) think otherwise without being a total hippopotamus. There was also something about a treaty, but I slept through most of this, so pardon me if some of it all doesn't sound right.
But after the initial rant, his argument began taking on more substance.
Woody noted that long before bipeds had a deer hunting season, our great, great, great, great, great, great, etc. (I lost count) grandfathers the wolves used to roam the woods and keep the deer population healthy by keeping the size of the deer herds in proportion to the resources available to them. This promoted a healthy ecosystem and historical records show that back in the day there were very few reports of deer vandalizing human gardens.
[Note: At this point in the discussion I pointed out to Woody that our great, great, great, great, great, great, etc. (I lost count) grandfathers the wolves always killed the weakest of the deer population and thus strengthened the genetics of the herd, whereas human hunters tend to only kill the biggest and brightest of the herd, eschewing killing the weak and infirm as "not macho enough," therefore slowly reducing the quality of the species, to which Woody replied, "Duh. That's what happens when you give a job to an immigrant. And it's also why deer are so dumb these days."]
Anyway, some time in the late Domesticated Chicken era, our great, great, great, great, great, great, etc. (I lost count) grandfathers the wolves ran into a bit of a conflict-of-interest crisis and soon found themselves forced to survive by moving to isolated regions of the world full of snow where they could make a living as actors in documentary movies done by hirsute young men in big shoes for the Discovery Channel. Granted, having sex in front of a camera is both intimidating and embarrassing, but as everybody knows, reality TV is big these days, and it can often be a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
But I digress.
The point that Woody was begrudgingly making was that the ecosystem needed a hunting season for deer because without the wolf, the deer population was growing increasingly unhealthy. Many environmental-activist humans tried to address this crisis by attacking deer with their cars, pick-ups and SUVs, but so few deer ever graze on the freeway that it wasn't producing the desired result, plus it was having an adverse effect on car insurance.
The next logical step was to institute a formal season for reducing the deer population. The various state legislative bodies had two choices. They could establish a deer-hunting season for dogs, or they could establish a deer-hunting season for humans. And as historians have noted, the decision hinged on the economy. If they established a deer hunting season for dogs, then dogs would go out and kill deer and that would be that. But if they established a deer hunting season for humans, then it would provide a economic boost to a significant part of the human pocketbook.
For starters, there's the obvious. You gotta buy a license to try to kill a deer, and you gotta pay fees if you actually succeed. (That's the part that supports your local politician's junkets.) Then you have to buy a pick-up-load of guns and ammunition. And a pick-up or SUV to put them in. You also gotta rent land to hunt on, and you gotta buy a deer stand or two or three at a couple hundred dollars a pop to sit in where the deer can't see you, and you gotta spend a fortune on deer food to attract the deer and you gotta buy camouflage clothing in a variety of seasonal motifs to hide yourself from the deer and then you have to buy a bright orange hat or vest to make sure you don't shoot each other. And if and when you finally manage to kill a deer, you pay someone to mount the antlers and butcher the meat.
And of course if you don't actually live in a deer-populated area, then there's the whole cost of travel, motel, and booze that has to be considered.
So, as became quite apparent to me, and should to you also, we should not scoff at those who strive to keep our deer population healthy. Their huge sacrifices often end up costing them $50-75 for a pound for meat, money that could easily buy them far greater quantities of choice filet mignon if all they cared about was food, and yet they persevere because it's worth it from an environmental standpoint.
However, unfortunately for me, this was all supposed to be a lead-in for a whole different point I wanted to make. But that will have to wait for next time, whenever that is.