Originally uploaded by Hard-Rain
Our property backs to the power line right-of-way and is adjacent to state parkland. Large herds of deer roam freely, all year ’round, for there is very little hunting to control the exploding population. They are like rats with hooves – they are a menace, wandering onto our property, eating our attempts at gardening and landscaping, as if it were their own personal salad bar. Cars hit ‘em all the time as they cross roads in the suburbs.
I grew up in the country, on a farm, in a family of many hunters. In Pennsylvania, it’s a sport, and a way of life. My parents hunted because the deer would eat our crops – our livelihood. In junior high, we had mandatory hunter’s safety class, regardless of whether we intended to ever pick up a rifle and shoot at a critter. The first day of “buck” season and the first day of “doe” season were school holidays, mostly because many of the teachers hunted. My relatives would set up camp and set out into the woods, trying to bag a deer, and the rest of us would man the phones back home, waiting for a call. “Jeff got a buck,” would be my grandmother’s message. “How many points?” was our inevitable reply. “A big one – a six-pointer!” Success!
So this morning, I happened to glance out back towards the right-of-way, and saw three deer grazing. Upon further inspection, I realized one of them had antlers. A buck! Instinctively, I strained my eyes, trying to count the points. FOUR! A four-point buck!
Just further proof that at heart, I’ll always be a Pennsylvania girl, no matter where I live.