Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Fall Harvest

When I was young, “hunting season” meant small game: rabbits, pheasant, ducks, squirrels. It certainly did not mean the white-tailed deer. Deer were so rare that seeing one was the outdoor thrill of the year. Today, I spot a roadkill carcass almost every mile on the way to work. Today, “Hunting season” in Eastern Pennsylvania means deer (and sometimes turkey) and little else. The annual deer hunt is so essential to the rural experience that the local schools are all closed on the Monday after Thanksgiving, the traditional “First Day” of buck season.
We see plenty of deer around the lodge, and see plenty of the damage that these four-legged locusts do to crops and the woods. But then, deer have become a crop of their own, like cattle or pigs. It’s just a little harder to kill them, that’s all. Still, we saw some success this fall during bow-and-arrow. We hope that our hunters will have even more success during the upcoming rifle season. Otherwise, we might be left with nothing but old trees, ferns and timothy hay.

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