Saturday, November 17, 2012

Deer Season

Shooting.  Killing.  Hunting.  They've got to be some of the scariest words for deer.  In Wisconsin and around our country, people are cocking a gun and taking aim!  This post was inspired in various ways as you'll see today:)
Well one.  It's about the deer.  On my birding/wildlife adventures, I came upon many deer from around the country.  Mule, Whitetail, Coues, Pronghorn(not a deer...but like a deer:)......and they are all so beautiful.
I'm not against hunting at all.  My family hunts in Wisconsin and eat the meat.  In places like this state, it's important to keep the population from bursting into the millions.  Currently there are over a million deer in Wisconsin.  Deer cause many deadly car crashes. Or maybe that last sentence should read....humans cause many deer to die.  Either way, it's dangerous.   And in cold winters, deer can die from starvation.   Therefore, I always think it's important to allow for some hunting to happen in certain places.
I tried to hunt with my relatives when I was younger but didn't enjoy it.  But don't think I don't understand the thrill of a hunter.  As a photographer, there is a definite adrenaline rush that I get everytime I find an animal or bird. And in many ways, pushing the button on my camera is a lot like pulling the trigger of a gun......except I'm not killing anything:)
Many birders have stories about getting caught up in a hunting area while looking for birds.  It's only then that they realize hunting season has begun.  And quickly many pray to the gods that no one shoots them while searching for that Snow Bunting.  There's a lot of scary(and funny) stories out there about getting caught up in an area that's open to hunting.  So to my birder and wildlife careful!
Almost anywhere I went, I would discover deer.  Sometimes they would run.  Sometimes we would just stare at each other.
So to the deer out there, I wish them the best of luck.  I believe that the wildlife know when hunting season begins because many of them migrate to areas where hunters can't enter.  They're no dummies:)
In fact, earlier this year I reported that Nuclear Power plants around the country note a higher percentage of wildlife around their reactors when hunting season begins.  If a human enters these secure borders, they are shot....not the deer or bear.
The best part of wildlife photography is that I've gotten really stealthy and can sneak up on some animals.  My body afterwards feels it when I get home.  I push my muscles to the limit sometimes bending and crouching around trees and bushes.
The pics below made me burst out laughing.  In Colorado Springs, this buck stood still.  He just froze.  But I saw him and told everyone to freeze.  My 4 year old nephew and I caught the deer with our eyes.  He's good to take out into the field:)
But everyone had a good laugh including the homeowner of this place.  She was walking out to her car and found the new "lawn decorations":)  We were across the street staring at these beautiful animals.
So venison.  In Wisconsin, people hunt and garden and hunt and fish and garden.  I was the little hobbit that enjoyed gardening with my Grandparents.  I didn't like hunting or fishing because that was disgusting....especially if the food had that "gamey" taste to it.
But I was educated by my very crafty brother-in-law.  He is a hunter and fisherman.  And he's an amazing cook who knows how to prepare meats like venison etc. 
One time I came home from school and was super hungry.  I raided their fridge and had myself two helpings of lasagna.  Little did I know that it contained venison!!!  Had I known I wouldn't have eaten any of it.  But thankfully I was given a second chance to try it out.  At first I was disgusted with myself for having eaten it, but I also helped myself to their it was my fault in the first place.  When they found out, they had a great laugh because they know how I am when it comes to fish and wild meat.
The secret to getting rid of that "game" taste?  Use half hamburger meat with half venison!  Did you know that venison is better for you and leaner?
I love my veggies and don't eat too much meat but is it bad that I love chicken or turkey?:)  Plus I love deer very much.  So I wish both sides luck this year.  Hunters may you feed your families.  Deer may you find sanctuary and safety away from the orange ones. And birders, may you not get shot or run over by either.  Please research before going out into the woods wherever you are!  So what's your take on deer hunting?  Love it?  Hate it?
And to everyone out there.  May your holiday season begin on a good note!  More tomorrow....


  1. another grand post..I would stay at home for a month or so.

  2. Great post, Chris! I am not into hunting of any kind of animal. I am like you, I would much rather see the critters in the wild and take my photos. I do not mind the hunters that take the deer and use the meat but I have a horrible dislike for the hunter that take what they want and leave the carcass. I find these "hunters" to be disgusting and there seems to be a lot of it going on right now. Now onto the brighter side, your photos are wonderful. I love the lawn ornaments. Have a great weekend!

  3. Hi Chris,
    An interesting post, and one that throws up all sorts of issues for me. I personally hate the thought of hunting by the public at large, as most do it for sport or the treaty taste of game meat, rather than actual survival. I do recognise that just as in parts of this country, culling must take place to reduce populations of deer, but best left to the professional gamekeeper with the right weapon and skill I think. I fear the problem with just anyone doing it is that it attracts too many Rambo types with the wrong gun, or a bow or crossbow etc, and in the case of people enjoying the countryside, endangers life human life too. More often than not there isn't a clean kill too. Sorry, a bit of a rant, but you did ask. Have a good weekend, and beautiful pictures of deer doing what they do

  4. Ps......I love venison by the way, in a really rich stew with a good gravy.

  5. We have a lot of deer in our area. That's why I always wear a red jacket and stick to walking on the side of the road rather than in the woods during this time of year.

  6. Growing up I ate a lot of venison never asking questions... I hunted too but nowadays I am only used to hunt with my camera nothing else...
    I like very much the picture Nr... the 4th from the bottom...

  7. being raised in wis, my brothers hunted deer, squirrel, bird, etc. i never liked the taste, but i do believe it was not prepared well, either. it was 'meat on the table - eat it or else'. :)

  8. I grew up on lots of venison and fish coming from Wisconsin. I eat neither one of them now. Except my mother-in-law cans venison, and for some reason, that blows my mind, it's excellent. Who would think canned meat would be good? I would never go hunting, but my dad and husband go. There are lots of deer who would starve in the winter if the population got out of control, so I see that side of it.

  9. wow... deers in somebody's gardens)))

    xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :) | PJ’ Ecoproject

  10. I have nothing against hunting if the meat is not wasted. But do hunters have to use lead ammunition? A lead bullet fragments when it hits bone leaving micro pieces of lead in the meat. Not good for us and also bad for some scavengers like eagles and condors. It is scary to be in the woods during hunting season and I orange just isn't my color. Guess I'd rather shoot the dear with my camera.

  11. Guess I'll just continue to 'shoot' with my camera.. I love deer --and even though I am not against hunting, it's not a pleasure of mine either...

    Love the Mule Deer --with those big ears!!!

    Have a great weekend.

  12. I am in complete agreement with Gary, your third commenter so will leave it at that as I would just be repeating his words :-)

    Your photos are lovely and the one with the deer in the front garden was very funny, a few Christmas lights and a bit of tinsel to adorn it and they will be all set for the festive season :-)

  13. Wonderful shots Chris, and the commentary too!

  14. Good advice to the birders Chris. I have been in Wisconsin during hunting seasons. Bow, Rifle, Deer and Game Birds. It gets intense to say the least! I remember up in Minnesota one bear season, I saw some skinned bears on the ground. It was pretty sad. I'll never get that image out of my head. But the bears are so abundant they need to hunt them. Ying and Yang I guess.
    Your pictures are amazining as always.

  15. You got many great photos of the deer. They are beautiful creatures. We love finding them while hiking.

    I don't like the taste of venison either. In September, we hit a deer with our truck. We did everything we could to avoid it and not cause a wreck (don't swerve to miss a deer in your lane. you could hit another vehicle or go off the road and have a worse crash.) I wince when I read that someone rolled a vehicle because they swerved to miss a deer. The buck would "dance." Should I step forward or back? We had too much traffic to just stop although we certainly slowed suddenly. The only good thing (we had to fix the bumpers on the front of the truck--luckily could drive it fine) was it was right in front of the game warden's house and he has a list of families that need the meat and he took care of getting the deer to one. So, our repair costs provided for a family in need.
    I don't know why people are surprised the deer population is so large and healthy in farming areas. They have all those yummy crops to eat.
    Thanks for sharing your deer photos.

  16. I don't enjoy venison either except the sausage is pretty good.

    As with all creatures, deer are fascinating but you might not enjoy them so much if they were in your garden munching away daily. One friend calls them "giant rodents with antlers", I might not go that far but they do lose their appeal after a while. We have also had a problem with some people hunting in our city neighborhood which is crazy.

  17. Great deer shots! I have the same feelings about hunting that you do. I don't want hunting on my property though, as even though it's 50 plus acres the property is long and narrow and I have horses. DH has had venison and doesn't like it at all -- he finds it too gamey.

  18. Great post! We believe in hunting, but find it hard to do also. :-) You got some great photos. Oh, by the way, I am trying the dish of sugarwater for the bees so the hummingbird feeders will be left alone...first of all, the bees still remember the feeders have sugarwater in them BUT the dish has attracted quite a few bees well as quite a few ants! Good grief! :-) I don't know if there's an easy answer to this problem!

  19. Ja nie potrafiłabym być myśliwym. Nie umiałabym pociągnąć za cyngiel i zabić jelenia. Dla mnie są to piękne zwierzęta i powinny żyć spokojnie . Pozdrawiam.
    I would not be able to be a hunter. Would not be able to pull the trigger and kill a deer. For me, these are beautiful animals and should live peacefully. Yours.

  20. Some great photos there Chris. Like ShySongbird I would agree with Gary's comments re: hunting. But another very interesting and thought provoking post again :)

    Hope you are having a great weekend :)

  21. Chris, I'm amazed by your fabulous photo collection of so many different deer.
    I also enjoyed your story-tale, thanks for sharing.

  22. although i've never hunted...i have had venison...given to me by people who have hunted. you really do have to mix it with other (fattier) meat...i use sausage.

    anyway, beautiful deer shots!! especially the one on the front lawn with the stone wall in front...that deer really does look like a lawn ornament!!

    i cringe when i hear that gunshot just around dawn. RUN bambi RUN!!


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