John Harrigan: Moving day again, and lots of mail
As long as the waters are already roiled, let's start with this year's Youth Deer Hunt results. Fish and Game's Kent Gustafson says preliminary figures show that 359 adult-supervised young hunters took deer during this year's two-day hunt.
In the past when I've written about what I think is a great way to get the next generations involved in the hunting tradition, I've received nasty notes about cruelty to children (quick, call 911), and about malleable little minds being "brainwashed" by big, bad hunters.
Reader Nancy from Rindge also has apparently been brainwashed; the poor, witless, clueless little thing:
"My husband and our entire family are hunters. My dad, who is 79, still hunts. When our children were younger, I always made sure to show them the animal. Now we get to do it with our 6-year-old grandson. My uncle got a small black bear this fall, and we all ran over to see it. My grandson thought this was the coolest thing ever.
"A couple of years ago, I was going to get some more food-saver bags so that we could get our deer taken care of, and saw a pickup with a couple of nice bucks in the back. The two gentlemen that bagged these deer were enjoying their lunch, and when I went up to the truck to congratulate them, I could clearly see them start to cringe. I quickly put them at ease and congratulated them and told the reason for my errand. I'm sure they thought I was an anti-hunter (far from it).
"Why is it okay to allow kids to watch some of the most violent movies, shows, even the evening news, but don't let them see a dead animal that is going to be eaten? If the anti-hunters only knew how the meat they get at the grocery store was killed."
But wait, there's even more hope:
"I wanted to comment on the article! LOVED IT . especially the part about hiding a deer or moose you have shot . I think even Fish and Game says to "hide" your kill so as not to offend the sensitive. What a bunch of malarkey . when I was growing up in Vermont, if you got a buck it was paraded all over town and a source of pride and happiness. The other thing that gets me going is nobody can say shot, shoot or killed anymore, everyone says "harvested." - James C. Taber.
And this one, from "Mr. Bill," was just plain funny:
"Several years ago a couple from Everett, Mass., moved in a couple of houses down from me. One day the (woman) mentioned how disgusted she was because her neighbor in Everett apparently had a successful hunting trip to Maine, and had a nice buck hanging from a tree in his front yard. She said that she was so upset by it that she called the police chief and asked him if that was legal.
"I told her that if I was her neighbor in Everett, I'd hang dead rats from my tree. It's amazing how many people just can't bring themselves to admit the fact that the hamburgers they had for lunch were, not too long ago, walking around in a barnyard.
"I think I'll go out tomorrow and pick some pork chops off my pork chop tree."
And finally, a housekeeping note:
Next week it's Moving Day for me again. Back 38 years ago, when this column first started in 1974, it was buried in the Sports section, because the mind-set then was that mostly just men hunted and fished and went to camp (not true then, definitely not true now). Then the editors moved it to the front page of the New Hampshire section, and its readership and mail seemingly tripled overnight.
And now, with next Sunday's issue, it's moving again, to the front section's Page 2. Life is all about change, friends and readers - so hope to see you there.
John Harrigan's column appears weekly in the New Hampshire Sunday News. His address is Box 39, Colebrook 03576. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.