One of the many perks of living nine miles from the main road, in a national forest, is the opportunity to enjoy an abundance of wildlife right in the backyard. We have enjoyed watching the animals that share this space with us, particularly the deer that stroll through our patch of woods almost every evening and morning for the six years we have owned this property.
Yesterday morning was no exception. A doe and two yearling fawns have been coming by regularly, so when the weather dipped to the teens the other day, we put out a seed block that doubles as a squirrel and raccoon feeder too. The kids nibbled away for a few minutes and slowly followed their mom up the trail that leads out of our yard, to cross a dirt road and into the DBNF, about 300 feet up the hill – if that.
My husband was coming from the music studio out back to the house when the shotgun blasted, so close and so loud that he hit the dirt and checked himself for gunshot. I was in the house vacuuming – and still heard the shot loud and clear over the roar of our very old, very loud Hoover. I ran outside to find my husband cursing at a white pickup truck paused on the dirt road just above our house, where the deer cross. The truck lingered for about 2 minutes and drove off – probably carrying one of ‘our’ deer with it.
We haven’t seen the deer since, so we don’t know which one, if any, lost its life. Since it was a sniper ambush from a truck, probably at very close range, we’re fairly certain at least one was killed. There was only one shot. The survivors probably have run for their lives and won’t be back for some time now, if at all, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
Just to be clear here, I’m not totally against hunting, when done properly and for a good reason. I come from a hunting family, though I admit I’m becoming less tolerant of it by the minute. This was not hunting. This was an ambush from a vehicle – and way too close to a house. Snipers in a truck, without honor and without any dignity at all. The same sort of morons who killed a deer a couple of weeks ago, hacked off the meat they wanted, and left the rest of the carcass by the side of the road, covered with a piece of plywood. Like that would hide it and what they’d done from the rest of the world.
We reported this shooting, but one of the misfortunes of being so far away from town is that law enforcement can seldom arrive quickly. No matter. I do believe what goes around, comes around, so these lowlife cowards will have to deal with the consequences of their dastardly deeds someday.
There will be more deer, and they will eventually continue to use the trails that cross our yard, as they have long before people came here, and probably will long after we’re gone.
Postscript: 6:14 PM. Apparently, the truck sniper was not a good shot! “Our” deer returned this evening, a little more skittish (good!) but otherwise unharmed. We still find the behavior of those “hunters” inexcusable.