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.
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.