|Looking westerly from June's field. Central Ridge in the distance.|
I don’t talk much about hunting-related topics here. I know that some people don’t hold with it, but I grew up in an area where hunting wild game was (and still is) commonplace. When I was in school, much of the male student population was absent for a week when hunting season opened. The complaints of teachers and administrators were useless.
Although hunting is not my thing, I do live with someone who hunts and have come to see the other side of the issue. A wise hunter, I have learned, cares about conservation.
Deer season opened last Friday (Oct. 10), and Mike has yet to bag one despite the fact that the deer cavort freely in the open fields, gleefully waving their white tails at him. Beautiful as they may be, the deer are not my friends. I have struggled to establish a few trees and bushes which are constantly nibbled to death unless firmly protected in wire cages. The bucks will also rub the bark off even a small tree. And that’s not saying anything about the economic impact caused by their devouring the crops. Their numbers seem to be ever-increasing, and they are a nuisance. Furthermore, they are not afraid of us and seem to be gaining the upper hand.
But yes, they have their appeal. Yesterday afternoon Mike went out with his rifle to hide in some bushes and watch for a likely target. Meanwhile, the house seemed chilly, and I decided some baking would be just the thing to create a little warmth. As I worked in the kitchen, I noticed a young doe cross the lane from June’s to the north field.
When next I spied the doe, she was in the middle of the open field, having such a good time all by herself. She sat right down in the stubble and kept shaking her head, twitching her ears, and lazily cleaning her back. Then she stretched out for a nap, apparently oblivious to the fact that it’s hunting season. Maybe she sensed that the weather would soon change. Whatever, she appeared to think it an idyllic afternoon, and I hoped Mike hadn’t seen her.
Mike was out north someplace, but when he ambled up, he said he was unaware of the doe in the north field. I had to point her out as she was well-camouflaged in the dirt. Mike watched her for a while but eventually determined she was not only pretty far out but fairly small.
The pictures here I took of a small doe we encountered on our walk the other day. She was curious -- they are you know – and not the least intimidated. She paused a long time, allowing me to come closer and photograph her. She might be the same doe with whom I had a close encounter last month. She might be the same doe that lounged in the field. KW