My column last week that took aim at the widespread problem of people leaving deer carcasses on the ground outside of garbage bins around the county got a lot of positive feedback.
It’s a disgusting problem, and a lot of people, especially hunters who care about doing things the right way, seemed to be glad to see the problem called for what it is.
I did receive a couple of calls from critics, and you probably won’t be surprised to know that they did not give their names. I don’t blame them. Their position is indefensible.
One gentleman called to suggest that an apology was owed to those who have physical limitations and may be unable to carry the carcasses to more appropriate locations and to those who don’t own property and therefore have a hard time finding places to leave the carcasses to rot.
There will be no apologies.
I would of course never intentionally be insensitive to anyone with physical limitations. However, I don’t think that anyone capable of shooting a deer, loading it in a truck, cleaning it and then hauling the remains to a dumpster site and dragging it out on the ground is suffering from those kind of limitations.
They may have limitations, but I don’t believe they are physical.
The argument about non-property owners was equally weak, but I do suspect that the reason you see a lot of deer left behind with only the back straps cut from the animal and the rest of the good meat left to rot is because it is the work of illegal road hunters working at night.
The other anonymous caller really brightened my morning. He informed me that I “have no regard for our Southern traditions and obviously don’t know anything about hunting.”
It was probably a good thing that I was taking a swig of coffee at the time. My response was delayed as I struggled not to spit the coffee all over my desk, and the caller angrily hung up, apparently satisfied that he’d put me in my place.
The comments caught me so off guard that it was good that I didn’t get the opportunity to engage in a spur of the moment debate. I might have bored the poor guy with a 30-minute lecture about how I started hunting as a young child and now take my own young children, and that’s one reason I care so much about this issue. It creates a negative image of hunters in the minds of non-hunters – who happen to be a majority of the population. That matters to me, and it should matter very much to anyone who cares about the future of hunting. It also should matter to anyone interested in simple common decency.
Or – caught off guard as I was – I might have gone all Donald Trump on him and assured him that my bucks are much larger than his bucks.
Instead, I’ll just say this: I don’t know anyone who thinks that leaving rotting animal carcasses where mothers, grandmothers and everyone else has to hold their noses just to throw away their garbage is a “Southern tradition.”
In fact, that would be the opposite of any of our traditions worth preserving as far as I’m concerned.