Harvest and Hunting

Next Saturday will be the last Farmer’s Market day for ‘Tosa.  Today’s was spectacular, though.  Here’s a picture of my morning harvest.

Oh, it’s so beautiful, I have to show you another:

As we walked to the market place in the village, we noticed a deer on someone’s front lawn grazing on fallen crabapples as the leaves blew around her.  Such a picturesque view of Fall, but unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me.  This evening,  I made a risotto using the Japanese eggplant, green beans, garlic, onion, and red pepper.  Supplemented with a couple of unfinished bottles of red wine plus a loaf of Kalamata rosemary bread, also from the Farmer’s Market.  Dessert was Amaretto and brownies.

In the afternoon, Steve and I went walking in the Vernon State Wildlife Area.  Emily will remember this place.   Oh, and we took the D.H. Lawrence novel we’re reading with us.

Our reading spot

Our reading was punctuated by the sound of rifle fire not far away.  Also, up the river was a duck blind and a bunch of decoys.

Not the real thing

We had a lot of questions.  Are there supposed to be people hunting waterfowl in a wildlife refuge?  The signs that were posted were confusing.  There’s no waterfowl hunting whatever beyond certain signs.  No one is allowed in the refuge area from Sept. 1 to November 30 except for gun deer hunters.  You can’t hunt on the dikes between the signs.  We took the long way around the perimeter of the area, and ended up on the railroad tracks for a while to avoid the marshy path.

Taking a higher road out of the marsh

We finally got back to the parking lot at about 4:30pm and noted more cars and people in camouflage gear with guns taking to the trails.  What was going on?  The sign in the parking lot did indicate that Hunting was one of the features of this wildlife area.  But is it deer hunting season already?  As concerned citizens, we wanted to know.  Steve jumped online when we returned home and learned that this weekend is Youth Deer Hunt weekend.  The Wildlife Area is a public hunting area, and only a portion of it is a refuge.  From the Department of Natural Resources website: “Youth hunting events give hunters ages 10 to 15 an opportunity to hunt and gain valuable experience without competing against adult hunters. Special seasons for a variety of species allow only youngsters to hunt during these days under the supervision of their mentor.”  Here is a picture:

From the DNR website

This morning, we were talking about children taking responsibility and how there ought to be a way to give kids a more meaningful role in society – somewhere between child labor and “playing” at adult roles while mom or dad do all the real stuff because adults are more efficient.  So I’m asking myself, is “hunter” a meaningful role in today’s society?  Are these kids helping the family to eat for the winter?  Are they participating in a traditional family role?  Do they partake in any ritual of acknowledging the deer’s part in this event, as many hunting cultures do?  I don’t want to be dogmatic, and I don’t like killing for sport.  I wonder what these kids are taught by their “mentors” about hunting.  I suppose I would have to speak to a hunter to find out.  I have questions.

3 thoughts on “Harvest and Hunting

  1. When it comes to deer hunting, I wonder if it could be used as an opportunity to better educate kids about balance in ecosystems. Deer are overpopulated because we’ve killed all their natural predators, but you can’t just remove a slot in a food chain. Is it now our responsibility to keep the deer population in check as the wolves, mountain lions, and coyotes we have removed once would have?

  2. I wonder if there’s a way that we can reintroduce the predators instead? Mountain lions and wolves, their natural predators, have been hunted to virtual extinction. The threat they posed to livestock was probably the biggest reason for that, but again, many were killed for sport. Keeping deer population down is now not a natural process. I favor bow hunting, as in bow and arrow, not graphite crossbows, because it seems more like the native way.

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