Deer Hunters Overlook Game’s Merits

“Want a buck? Get a truck.”

It’s been a decade or so since our fourth cousin posted that snide phrasing on a sign along the pasture fence. It was in response to and agitation from deer hunters driving country roads looking for deer to shoot with a big gun.

That procedure contrasted his method of hunting. Terry knew habits and whereabouts of deer in a wide area and loved watching them. When time came for the kill, only trophies were apprehended. He’d wait hidden for hours until buck arrived and shoot the big one through the heart with an arrow from his bow.

Forty years ago, there weren’t many deer in Kansas, and even a sighting made headlines. Uncle Don and Aunt Lu annually went to Wyoming deer hunting. They always came back with deer and antelope, plus sometimes elk, moose and bear. We helped with processing in the grocery store butcher shop, but no wild game steaks for our supper.

When Kansas deer numbers increased such that a season was started, photos of successful hunts again made  news. Does were toted proudly, as if today’s prize bucks. Populations have expanded so deer are a traffic hazard, as our son and we can verify after colliding with them, to their demise and our vehicles’ damage.

Very popular is the sport of deer hunting. Yet, some methods don’t seem ethical. Nothing wrong with shooting deer, but feeding them and setting up timed cameras to know exactly when buck will come by is surely lopsided in hunter’s favor.

Our son is an avid deer hunter; something about it makes his adrenalin flow like us riding a colt. He’s shot several, including some of the wall-hanging caliber, which is the only kind he’ll aim at nowadays. Daughter even shot a deer but went back to steer roping. She hasn’t considered roping deer, but we’ve heard of such, and no happy

Admittedly, we now have too many deer, and they are anxious to eat horse and cow feed, besides being a roadway danger. We still get a thrill when deer jump out of the timber and float across the pasture. Couldn’t shoot one if we had a chance, besides it might be Bambi, Rudolph or another of Saint Nicholas’ team.

Deer are referred to throughout the Bible, as highly merited, ceremonially-clean animals for eating. Surefootedness is noted in Second Samuel 22:34: “He maketh my feet like deer feet: and setteth me upon high places.” Gentleness and kindness are credited in Proverbs 5:19: “Let her be as the loving and pleasant deer; let her be ravished with love.”

In Deuteronomy 12:15, “According to thy God: the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the buck.” Advice comes in Song of Solomon 8:14: “Make haste, my beloved, and be thou like to a buck or to a young doe upon the mountains of spices.” Long live God’s beautiful deer.