Due to the rapid overpopulation of the deer, many cities, including my small hometown of Rio Hondo, face property damage as well as health issues, therefore I believe hunting should be encouraged. Growing up on a ranch in Rio Hondo, seeing deer and other wild game were a natural everyday part of life for citizens and I. It was not until I read Kristofs essay that I began to realize that my family and other citizens living in Rio Hondo faced issues such as these on a daily basis but had just grown accustomed to it, which made it seem far less than it really is. For example, deer in fact do cause some major property damage!
When I was about 15 years old, my father decided to redo our complete property line fence. He ordered the company he hired to remove our original ranch post and barb wired fence and install a metal high fence. When completed, the fence stood 6 feet tall. Shortly after installing the fence, we began to notice that there were holes being made along the bottom of the fence line. My father was outraged. He began installing trail cameras, which record when an animal pass by it day and night, to see if he could identify the cause of our problem, after all, our new gate was pretty costly.
The trail cameras ran for weeks, recording deer, javalinas, bobcats, wild boars, and occasionally the odd nalgai passing through the holes in the fence. This began to make my father wonder if it were the pigs that were making the holes in the fence, until one day the trail camera at the far end of my parents ranch captured something I found to be hilarious! The camera showed a deer, digging under the fence line, tugging on the wire with its teeth, as well as kicking the fence from time to time. My mother, siblings, and I all started laughing.
The deer looked like our dog Aggie when he would try getting under the covers in bed! My father, of course was not too happy seeing the animal destroy his fence. He knew there was nothing he could do, until deer season opened up anyhow. Once deer season rolled along, my father put my various tripods around the ranch and waited aimlessly to see the deer that was costing him money! This account was neither the first nor the only time that my parents have experienced property damage due to deer or other wild animals but it sure was the most memorable!
As for health issues concerning deer, my mothers fear has always been of ticks. Kristof states that besides killing people directly, these animals also carry ticks which may cause Lyme disease (183). I cannot tell you how many times I have pulled these little pests off of me after helping my father around the ranch! But honestly, I have yet to notice deer infested with ticks. When skinning a kill, I personally have witnessed more wild hogs infested with fleas and ticks rather than deer.
To me, deer are much cleaner than any other animal I have skinned but again, that is just my own personal experience. Yes, occasionally after handling a kill I will have a few ticks around my wrist and the pockets of my fingers but it has become sort of a normal thing for me to encounter and I have just become accustomed to removing them and washing my hands with soap and rubbing alcohol. Thankfully I have yet to come across a tick with Lyme disease but if I were to, I highly doubt it would be from a deer but from a filthy javalina.
When trying to solve problems such as ones with animals many big businesses want to hire companies to come shoot deer, as stated in Kristofs essay (184). This is true! I have been a part of several of these events. Some let the hunter keep their kill while others must retrieve the animal where they discard of it properly. I approve of the situation when the companies let the hunter keep the deer because hunters usually skin the deer as well as cook and eat the animal, so nothing is left to waste, while some companies who require the deer be returned just dispose of the corpse.
As my dad always told my siblings and I, If you are not going to make use of it and skin it yourself, dont shoot it! Lastly, Id really like to say, many people do not approve of young women using contraceptives what makes politicians think citizens are going to agree to giving contraceptives to deer? (184). To me, reading about this made me a bit angry. We call the outdoors mother nature for a reason. We should let nature run its course and find others ways, such as hunting, to solve the problem, not prescribing wild animals contraceptives!
I mean, an $8,000 budget for animal contraceptives, really? (184). That is ridiculous. Being all too familiar with hunting wild game, I have come across many who disagree with the sport. Sure, it makes me angry when people say that I am an animal killer or ask me how I can do that to a defenseless animal but growing up my grandfather and father helped me realize that just because there are those who do not want to take part in the sport, does not mean there are not others who feel different about it.
Another thing they taught me is being sensitive to those who disagree with the sport. When we leave the ranch after a hunting trip, I was taught to change my bloody clothing and wash up before going anywhere so that we do not offend anyone who disapproves. I believe this is one of the many ways to encourage a positive attitude towards hunters and the sport, to respect others. In conclusion, I know there are many who think hunting may not be the answer, but if you are willing to give it a shot, I encourage you.
Hunting is a wonderful and exciting sport that may be one step closer to decreasing the overpopulation of wild animals as well as being memorable and relaxing (184). But always remember, not everything you come face to face with is meant to be shot. Choose your pick and like my father says, Let it ride! Work Cited Kristof, Nicolas D. For Environmental balance, Pick Up a Rifle. Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings. 9th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford, 2011. 183-85. Print.