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pictures bring up something that I deliberately edited out of a previous
message to Jim so I may as well address it. I originally omitted my comments
because they largely were meaningless to someone with Jim’s experience. If
you’re an ex-SEAL sniper, there’s almost no doubt where your rounds are going.
However, how many hunters can really say that honestly? Never mind the
beer-guzzlers who can’t see straight, I’m talking about the guys who mean
well but lack the discipline required for accuracy in the field. Being a good
marksman at a shooting range is just a start. A couple of things make me
ambivalent toward deer hunting in general:
there’s no doubt that culling is necessary. (I often feel that humanity could
stand some serious culling also, but I digress.) Yet, leaving the target
selection up to amateur hunters seems dubious to me even if we assume that
hunting is the most effective and humane method. There doesn’t seem to be a lot
of hunting in modern deer hunting. Too often the hunter is
semi-comfortably waiting in a blind near a feeder for a deer he likes to come
along. That seems more of a "deer-shoot" to me. Mind you, if
Jim tells me he tracked this buck in his gillie suit for 48 hours non-stop, I
must say, "Bravo Zulu sniper, good shot." Still, the point remains
that most hunters are far less certain to kill humanely while taking more
opportunities to shoot. I think that hunting as a culling tool would best work
in the hands of true pros like Jim.
hunters seem to be working against natural selection. The ideal target deer,
according to most hunters, is a huge buck with a billion points. The irony is,
that’s probably the most biologically healthy specimen. True, the buck
below may be old and infirm, but it’s hard to tell. Natural selection
would be to shoot the old and sick, but who wants to do that? It wouldn’t
be “manly,” and therein lies the problem. Unlike say, duck hunting,
which does work to help those species, deer hunting is more closely tied to manliness.
Sigmund Freud would likely have a field day analyzing that link, especially
since it involves high-power rifles. Hmm.
Wild hogs are a
whole other enchilada. They remind me of the NVA in that they are insidious,
destructive, and at least somewhat dangerous. I keep expecting Jim to come up
on the air screaming one evening: “I have pigs in the wire [his fence],
PIGS in the WIRE! I need IMMEDIATE air support! Over.”
As a postscript
to the above, my father used to be a serious deer hunter. But, even before
Macular Degeneration ended his hunting days, he started to lose his zeal for
the sport. He was also a veterinarian, and I guess the kills lost their thrill.