Bow season has ended; now it’s time for those who prefer rifles.
One of my neighbors was out bow hunting a couple of weeks ago. Not far from him, another man was walking along, when he got this weird, uncomfortable sense. He turned around; there was a cougar stalking him. He had a sidearm and shot at it, but missed. Oh well, it ran. I wonder how soon he’ll go out hunting…or walking in the woods again.
Hunting season is always full of stories, from the bozo who mistakes a cow for an elk to the ones who have to hike uphill with their load of meat.
Unfortunately, there are also tragedies, mostly caused by people who get careless, shooting at a sound and killing someone; leaving a campfire unattended…
The deer and elk have calendars, you know. They mark the seasons and conveniently disappear when the hunters show up. The rest of the year, they are right out there for everyone to see.
In our case, deer live in town. They haven’t bothered to hide. I think they checked the ordinances and know that shooting is illegal. Some of them are more bold than ever: All of them used to hide during the day; then come out and munch the flowers and produce in people’s gardens at night. Now, they’re out during the day as well. One doe and her fawns live in our neighborhood. She stood in a yard, watching traffic go by while she ate flowers, at 11:30 a.m..
Our deer are developing urban taste. They used to leave tomato plants alone until they bore ripe fruit; now they eat the tender parts of the plant. We used to figure out what they didn’t like so we could raise such things. Now, we understand that they like what they do.
There is no season for hunting cougars: a huge controversy. Several years ago, killing them was banned. The problem was that professional hunters used dogs to tree them; then would shoot them down. They would also poison them. I say, let’s be fair about it: Allow hunting, but with good sportsmanship. No dogs; no treeing; no trapping or poisoning.
On the rare occasion when a cougar wanders into town, it’s survival will depend on whom is called: If it’s the police, the animal will be shot; if it’s the Game Commission, it will be sedated and moved to a location in the woods.
Cougars are the reason we have neighborhood deer: They have pretty much forced them here. Interesting, a wildcat almost never comes into town, even with all that fresh venison walking around.