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Opening Day

It’s a big day here in Michigan: it’s opening day for the 2011 firearms season. This is a very big deal in a State so heavy on outdoor sports: fishing, hunting, water sports, etc.

I know of school districts that will close today;  colleagues have taken the week off and others have been setting aside “deer camp” provisions for weeks.

Over the last few years, around 700,000 individuals have purchased a license to hunt deer in Michigan. These hunters ultimately spend more than 9.6 million days afield and take more than 400,000 deer. Over 300,000 hunters participate in Michigan’s archery season, about 600,000 hunt with a firearm and 200,000 with a muzzleloader.   Source:  http://www.michigan.gov/dnr

And the deer know it, too.    They’ve been manic of late; many car/deer accidents are being reported and I’ve seen my share alongside the road – some bolting and others … not so much.

What’s this have to do with me?  I scheduled a trip today that takes me  through farmland, corn fields and valleys. My kind of drive except for one thing:  It’s. Right. Through. The. Center. Of. Deer. Nirvana.

And there’s a dense fog advisory this morning.

Elmer Fudd image from Wikipedia.org

I’m not a hunter but I’m glad we have a hunting season. There are too many deer and, without hunters culling the population, they starve.  Ever seen a starving deer?  It’s a terrible, terrible sight.  All hunters I know eat what they take and those who get more than one often donate to local food banks.

So hunters please … please be safe, wear your hunter orange, and shoot straight.

As for me? I’ll take my time, heading out after the fog lifts, and keeping my eyes peeled for sudden bursts of tan coming out from the corn.

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Categories: Animals, Food, Personal, Sports, Traditions, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Opening Day

  1. I’d like to add: Know what’s *behind* your target!
    Here’s hoping *you* don’t get a deer today.
    Safe travels…
    ~d.

    • that is so true! I drove a total of 3 1/2 hours & didn’t see one deer running … saw a few by the side of the road and 2 on top of a van but mostly? Lots of guys in orange looking awfully frustrated.
      Cheers! MJ

  2. cooper

    At least the deer are smart enough to stay off of Woodward Ave in downtown Detroit. They wouldn’t stand a chance there…

  3. The deer around here are chasing each other around because they’re in rut (that goes a long way towards explaining all of those spring fawns) and they’re getting shot at too, both while in the woods. I’d be jumpy either way. Jus sayin. 😉
    R

  4. Hope you don’t have to travel after dark. That’s when it’s the worst!

  5. Very well said! I was in Chincoteague, VA on a ‘wildlife safari’ boat tour of the islands that made up the wildlife refuge. One of the tour operators made an ugly remark about the duck hunters to which the other replied, “This refuge exists on the duck stamps purchased by them. I guess we and the wildlife owe them a great deal.” I’ll never forget the glass half full reminder of the good it does for all of us. But safety first – yes! Thanks, MJ!

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