Monday, December 29, 2008

The Deer That Got Away

I've found few things through the years that I hate more than hunting. I can't imagine why the human race eats meat, in fact. When I walked along the treeline at the edge of the field to the west of our house a few weeks ago, I was surprised to come upon a deer stand. Whose was it? When was it placed here?
I've watched through the trees during those weeks checking to see whether there was a dark form perched there. But, no, the stand has been forever empty.
It's a metal stand and attached quite firmly to a tree and I suppose it will remain there through the hunting season, however long that lasts.

As I approached the spot - wanting to see whether the stand was still there and camera in hand - I heard a crunching sound as two squirrels scampered through the leaf litter. Wouldn't it be funny, I thought, if there was a deer there, too, when the hunter was not?

That's when, just beneath the stand, two deer rose and stood not fifteen feet away from me! One bound into the field, ran to the west, stopped, turned and watched me from a distance (see above). The other deer must have run toward Clayton Road to the east or else stood still within the woods.

I put 12x into the camera and took the shot above. The deer stood there some minutes watching me attentively, ears scanning. When at last I turned and began walking away, she, too, relaxed and began walking back towards the woods.
What is there in human nature that would prompt us to kill one of these beautiful creatures? Or any creature? I've lived well on a vegetarian diet alone for 40 years.
I remember when we first moved here, hunters arrived on Thanksgiving Day and how I called the police and cleared them out. Perhaps they had permission - we only own a small plot - but they left just the same. Other times, when I thought hunters were about, I was sure to complete outdoor work, and do it noisily!