Saturday, January 3, 2009

End of Season

I have decided to end the hunting season. Earlier Cookie and I went out and although the day was somewhat disappointing and I didn’t get a bird I wasn’t too concerned because I did see a number of birds fly around the frozen sloughs. Today, however, I opted to end the season because I came across a hen that had died on the side of the road—she had frozen to death. This evening I spoke with another bird hunter and he told me had had found several birds near a road and all of them had frozen to death. We think the birds had been pushed out of their shelter and the bitter cold had caught them on top of the snow and cover before they could get back to shelter.
“The birds are stressed,” he said, adding that this winter is being hard on them and while the grouse seem to be able to cope with severe weather the pheasant don’t do as well.
I am sure there will be hunters who will take advantage of this last weekend of the season and brave the snow and wind to hunt pheasant; I just won’t be among them. I don’t feel as though I am missing anything because I’ve got pheasant, grouse and waterfowl in my freezer and a whole bunch of story material to work with. glg


Anonymous said...

One of the most compassionate posts I've read in a very long time. Thank you. I am not a hunter but I work with wild animals as a wildlife tech. I've been trying to impress upon some of our local hunters this very issue -- and it has gone nowhere. Most of the time I am outrightly dismissed. I'm seeing incredible stress along the lines of what you describe, animals that end up in my care, and I appreciate any effort made to bring attention to this idea. The same holds true when we have pollution warnings in our area and the animals are unduly stressed by other circumstances. Thank you for showing this consideration beyond any personal motivations. I've read many, many outdoors and hunters' writings and yours are the only ones I can follow with some semblance of respect. I realize that's a generalization, but I'm a tired and jaded. Your comments are imbued with a sense of caring and genuine respect for both animals and the environment and it's not something I see much anymore.

NorCal Cazadora said...

Very sad about the frozen birds. My friend up in Klamath (California-Oregon border) says the birds are super skinny there too. The weather came late, but when it finally got there, it hit hard.

Galen Geer said...

Thank you for your kind comments. I hope you continue to read and comment and equally important you find my writing worth reading.
Among some hunters there is a problem of being “in tune” with the game they are hunting. I’ve tried to get some sort of a handle on why some hunters build a fence between themselves and what they hunt. I do believe that when there is that emotional separation is created that it is somehow paralleling a similar separation that is appearing in the way those same people interact with each other. I can’t really put any true connection together so it is more of a hunch than anything else.
Again, thank you for your comments and please stay around and comment often.

Ever wonder why there isn’t a severe weather feeding program for game birds? glg