Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Deer Hunter

Twenty-seven years ago this morning I went out and shot a six or eight point deer from 100 yards with a .22 rifle. It was a lucky shot for me, not so much for the deer, and it fell where it was standing. We ate most of the meat over the next few months and tried to do something with the hide but I don't think it worked. I still have the antlers.

That pretty much was the beginning and end of my career as a hunter. There are a lot of things wrong with this story, too many to go over in this space; I don't regret killing the deer but I've never hunted seriously since. It did clarify my thinking about killing animals for food, something that all the fishing I had done before never seemed to do—something about a large mammal with intelligent eyes, probably.

I neither condemn hunters nor praise hunting. Things eat. Things die. We all eat; we all die.

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