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Happy Tail: Happy hunting?

(CM Note: Peg Schaeffer presents her argument - sure to be controversial - against hunting. I'm not a hunter, but Peg's is an argument difficult for me to follow; especially in a society where industrialized production and slaughter of domesticated animals occurs on an unholy, unhealthy, unwholesome scale. But here 'tis; her article follows our standards for civil discourse, which will be a guide for posting a limited number of responses pro and con, which it may ensue. - EW)
The next earlier Happy Tail: Happy Tail: A Week at Sugarfoot Farm Rescue Posted November 10, 2013

By Peg Schaeffer
Personal Commentary of the Writer

Hunting season is upon us. The newspapers print photos of hunters - young and old - with the deer they have killed.

They all have big smiles so proud of the kill. All of the deer, which were once beautiful and graceful animals, have a glazed look in their eyes and most of them have their tongues hanging out and blood dripping from their mouths.

Not a bleeding heart

I'll admit I'm a bleeding heart.

I don't believe in horse slaughter.

I could never intentionally kill any animal especially a deer. Whenever I go horseback riding and see the deer run across the path with their tails in the air it takes my breath away.

They have such beautiful eyes and are so graceful. I wish I could make them understand that I would never hurt them and that they are safe on my property.

Now don't get me wrong. I understand about the balance of nature. I know about survival of the fittest.

Connecticut has a controlled shoot to save deer population

In Connecticut there is a place named Bluff Point where they have a controlled shoot to save the deer population. The Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection culls the deer to maintain the ecological balance at the Reserve.

All deer taken, after being examined by DEP biologists to assess the overall health of the deer herd, is donated to "Hunters for the Hungry" for distribution to local food charities.

Over the last ten years, the Department has successfully reduced the deer population at Bluff Point to an ecologically sustainable level. Periodic thinning of the herd is necessary to maintain the deer population at levels that can be supported by the habitat at Bluff Point and to maintain a healthy, balanced ecosystem.

Deer hunting is not a fair fight

One of the things that bother me about deer hunting is how it's not a fair fight. There isn't a level playing field. The deer don't have guns. They don't even know they are being hunted until it's too late.

Hunters "bait" the deer. The grain stores sell "Come ere deer" which attracts the deer. When I'm riding I'll see areas where the deer have food left out for them. Corn cobs are scattered on the ground and there's a tree stand or shack for the hunters to hide. The deer come to feed and they're ambushed. How can you call this "hunting"?

When the season starts I cringe every time I hear a gun shot. Although I don't allow hunting on my property there is no way to enforce it. Every hunting season at least one dog will come up missing and I'm confident it's because they're running a deer or scaring them from the hunters.

Not a vegetarian or a vegan

I'm not a vegetarian or a vegan. I love bacon and eggs for breakfast. There's nothing like a thick steak or a prime rib. I enjoy a tall glass of cold milk.

My sister and her family had bought a pig, Sapphire, to raise for meat. They fed her all the best feed so she'd be big and fat. When the time came to butcher Sapphire the kids all cried so they bred her instead. Eventually they butchered her but none of the kids would eat the meat. That was the end of their raising meat. It's always much easier just to go to the store.

Loved her heifer and cried all the way home when she was butchered

I had gotten a Hereford heifer to raise. I named her "Elsie". I loved this cow. Once she was old enough I had her bred.There were complications when her calf was born and she had to be killed. It was a field kill and she was taken to the butcher. When I picked up the meat, there was still blood dripping from the packages. I cried all the way home and put the meat in the freezer. It stayed there for six months before I would even touch it.

Has to admit she enjoyed prime rib from Elsie

Once I tasted the prime rib I have to admit I enjoyed it. But that was the last of my meat raising. If I buy it in a store I don't remember its face.

That's why it is so hard for me to understand how hunting can be called a "sport". Sitting in a tree stand, waiting for the deer to come to eat the food left out for them, and then shooting them doesn't seem to be a fair fight. And I really have a hard time seeing young children so proud that they have taken the life of an innocent and beautiful animal.

Friend goes deer hunting with a camera, not a gun

Someone told me the other day about her friend whol goes hunting with her father. She dresses up in camouflage and brings, instead of a gun, a camera. That's what I like to hear.

I'm not trying to stop hunting because I know it will never happen. I'm just trying to understand why killing is considered a "sport".

Indians killed deer because it was necessary for survival

The Indians killed deer. It was necessary for survival. They used every part of the deer for food or warmth from their hides. Animals hunt for survival.

Man is the only creature who hunts for sport. Anyone who can afford to go hunting can buy their meat at the store. I have a friend whose husband is an avid hunter. He goes everywhere and she cooks, besides deer, caribou, turtle, squirrel, anything you can imagine. I don't understand why. If you ask them what it tastes like they tell you "it tastes like chicken". So if it tastes like chicken - eat chicken.

Russians wake up sleeping bears, and kill them - often mother bears

Canned hunts are another thing I'll never understand. How can releasing an animal from a trap and then shooting it be "sport"? In Russia hunters pay to go with a guide to a hibernating bear's cave and dogs go in and wake the bear. The bear comes out to attack the dogs and they shoot it.

Orphaned cubs are often sold to circuses

Often it's a female who has cubs in the cave and they're sold to the circus. The mother becomes a rug or a trophy on the wall and the cubs spend their lives in confinement entertaining crowds who've come to watch them perform.

Scripture on wall of Bread of Life in Liberty gives writer comfort

On the wall at The Bread of Life in Liberty there is a beautiful picture of two deer in the woods and below it is this quote from the Bible, Job, Chapter 12, verse 10: "In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind". This gives me some comfort. Although these deer have sacrificed their lives for sport they have a soul and it's not just the end.

I haven't written this to offend anyone. I just don't understand the pleasure gained from taking a life. I know there are readers who understand where I'm coming from and agree with me.

Asks deer talkers tell deer to "Eat at Peg's" in hunting season

One thing we can all agree on is the right to disagree. So anyone who can talk to the animals, tell the deer to "Eat at Peg's" during the hunting season. They'll be safe.- Peg Schaeffer, President and Founder, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue

Contact us if you would like to help.

Peg Schaeffer, Sugarfoot Farm Rescue,
860 Sparksville Road
Columbia, KY 42728
Home telephone: 270-378-4521
Cell phone: 270-634-4675

This story was posted on 2013-11-17 18:49:57
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