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Charmion BS: Hunting Deer (41) RE: BS: Hunting Deer 05 Oct 20

If we don't want to hunt (and eat) deer, we must be prepared to live with wolves and/or cougars, who will do it for us. The alternative is too many deer for their habitat to support, leading to crop damage and deer colliding with vehicles on highways.

In Europe, forest management is as much about the wildlife as the trees. I lived in a rural part of Germany, where the Forestmeister and his employer, the owner of the local hunting right (Revier), were important people. If you wanted to hunt, you not only had to join the hunting club, you also had to help maintain the forest, which meant cutting brush, hauling out fallen trees, clearing ditches, and feeding the deer in winter. I remember seeing groups of nicely dressed weekend hunters hard at work with hatchets and brush-hooks while the Forestmeister leaned on a tree and supervised.

When one of the big red deer was struck by a vehicle -- or charged a vehicle, as they sometimes did -- the result was usually a pyrrhic victory for the vehicle: the deer would be dead, but even a truck would be an unsalvageable wreck. The Revier-owner and the Forestmeister would promptly claim the deer, dress it, and sell the carcass for meat if at all possible. (A big gasthaus in the village was called Zum Hirsch for good reason.) The driver would be lucky to walk away from such a collision, and could well face charges for failing to watch for predictable hazards.

Personally, I like venison, especially stewed or as the non-pork content of a tourtiere. I am grateful to those with the patience to stalk the creatures, shoot them accurately, haul them out of the bush, and dress and butcher the meat. I would happily pay for that work, but selling wild game is illegal in Ontario.

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