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I’m both strongly in favor of hunting and strongly opposed to it.
I’m in favor of it, when it serves to put food on our tables or to ensure proper herd management. It’s best when it does both.
I’m against hunting when the only purpose it serves is to gratify the ego of the hunter.
I’m not much of a hunter.
Never have been, in fact.
I used to go B-B gun shooting with my pals when I was a youngster.
On one of those outings, I shot a little bird.
We were walking through the woods. I heard a chirp above me, saw the bird and clipped it.
Great white hunter, indeed.
Within moments, I realized what a stupid thing that was. I shot that little bird when I had no intention of eating it
We tried to find the bird to give it a decent burial. After much searching, we gave up on trying to find it.
Maybe I missed. I doubt I did, though.
From that point on, my B-B gun was only aimed at inanimate targets or at my opposing buddies when we played “Combat.”
That, too was a dumb thing, but it took me longer to realize it. Fortunately, we were all poor enough shots that no eyeballs were lost in this inanity.
I wish I’d developed a taste for hunting, especially since I live in the top deer-producing county, in one of the nation’s top deer states (actually, Virginia ranks second, right behind Michigan).
There are so many deer parading through our backyard that I’m tempted to take up the sport, even at this stage in life.
Rules against discharging firearms within the city limits, alas, prevent me from doing so.
While I’m not a hunter, I know that many of you are.
I’ll be the first to acknowledge the great benefits that you bring to all of us.
Absent you hunters, we would have significantly greater chances of hitting deer with our cars and trucks.
Absent you hunters, our gardens and other foliage would be ravaged beyond recognition.
Most importantly, absent you hunters, we would be witness to mass starvation of thousands of deer. Right before our very eyes.
You hunters already do a great service. Now I’m asking that you do even more. I’m also asking that you non-hunters help out.
Please consider Hunters for the Hungry.
This is a great organization with a simple mission: Facilitate the movement of venison from the field to those that are most in need.
According to Laura Newell-Furniss, who heads up H4H, this year’s target is to distribute 380,000 pounds of venison.
Think about it. That works out to over 1.5 million servings of nutritious meat for those that are most hungry.
It works out to over 1,000 meals per calendar day.
There are two ways in which you can help H4H help out others.
First, if you are a hunter, consider donating your harvest to the cause.
This is a fairly simple proposition.
Bring your legally taken, field-dressed prize to either Arrington’s Orchard (586-0758 or 586-5919) or to Evans’s Wild Game Processing (297-4009).
It costs you nothing, financially.
Speaking of finances, that is the area where you non-hunters might be able to help H4H. (Of course, hunters are welcome to, and certainly do, contribute.)
You see, it costs money to process, store, transport and distribute all of that meat.
The processors give generous discounts to H4H when it picks up the tab for a hunter’s delivery.
Still, when you’re talking about thousands of deer, the costs add up.
So, whether hunter or not, there are ways for you to help out in this arena.
It’s a way to combine the thrill of hunting with the thrill of giving.