Sunday, November 22, 2009

Deer Kill Not So Good Sportsmanship

"Big Boy"

was unique in that he had double eye tines. He was a handsome deer and fought with "Spike" to put claim on my back yard. I will miss him. 

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a couple of wild deer that I feed a small amount of corn to , in my back yard.  I named them "Spike" and "Big Boy", just for identification purposes.  My friends know, my neighbors know, my family knows. People enjoy seeing them when they come to visit.  It's a common practice in this area. I love nature and all of the animals in this beautiful country that I live in. I am a photographer. A photographer is someone who enjoys beauty and wants to capture that beauty on film for others to see and enjoy forever.  I have always enjoyed photographing the deer that wander into my back yard. I felt special, knowing that they felt safe in my yard. I have never tried to make them tame, or tried to pet them. I realize this kind of human interaction could be the cause of their death. Deer have always come through our yard, but the corn keeps them here for a few minutes longer so we can enjoy them and take a few pics.

I realize, that we have a hunting season here. I respect that, and I understand it, and I don't have a problem with it. I believe it is a God given right and I would never interfere with that. After all,  we have bird dogs and we do hunt birds.

Today, I am heart broken, because of the actions of another, who claims to be a hunter and a sportsman. He is my neighbor , who lives less than a 1/4 mile from my house. He shot and killed "Big Boy". This is a man who has eaten food from my table, drank from my Jack Daniels, and sat on my back porch and watched the deer come to eat corn. A man who has seen my 2 deer and knew that Big Boy was one I feed.  He shot "Big Boy" practically in his back yard, which is within close range of my home and others, as well. So close, that my husband ducked when he heard the shot. (He's been shot before by a hunting companion) . This guy didn't go out and scout. He didn't sit in a blind. He didn't follow tracks. He didn't even walk through the woods to look for a deer.

I don't consider this person a sportsman. I don't know if he was too lazy or just too stupid to hunt a deer like most men do. I do know, that most men I know, most sportsmen, and sportswomen,  would not "use" or take advantage of their neighbors good heartedness, to harvest their deer.

I am so disappointed, and hurt, that my neighbor could so easily kill this deer with so little regard to my feelings. He knew this was one of the two bucks, I feed in my back yard. Both deer have unique racks, easy to I.D. . There are thousands of deer around here, but he picked Big Boy because he was easy.

I knew that this day would come eventually, but I didn't know it would be so close that we'd hear the shot. And I certainly didn't expect it to be in my neighbors yard! If you saw my property layout, you would know why it would be easy to assume that it would be safe for the deer, to be fed on my property.

I have always respected the right of others to hunt and harvest meat, even though I do not care to do so myself. I do eat meat, I just don't want to pull the trigger.  I'm sorry, but I get a bigger thrill out of watching and photographing them, than shooting them. I have killed a few grouse.....on the wing.  I respect the rights of hunters and sportsmen. Why then, is it so hard for the hunter to respect my feelings, as someone who wants to just watch the deer and elk and moose and enjoy their grace and beauty to photograph?  Whether he agrees with me or not, is it not my right also, to be this way?

I wonder if, when he is bragging on his big 4 point buck, (and that's 4 on each side) he will tell people, "my neighbor lady feeds them corn when they come through, so I waited until he crossed the road and stepped into my yard and I nailed him". That's not hunting, that's not good sportsmanship, that's just plain slaughtering. And it was dangerous!

I am ashamed that I ever considered this person a friend. He is an embarrassment to real "sportsmen". No integrity for the hunt. No respect for the animal. No consideration for his neighbors. No friend of mine.


  1. Sorry about Big Boy. It had to happen sooner or later, I guess. What a jerk.


  2. Oh my God, Karen, I am so sorry. We all have suffered a loss. I too have enjoyed photographing Big Boy. Your neighbor is no hunter.

    You, Dan, Big Boy are in out thoughts and prayers.

  3. Sorry about your deer Karen, I know you really enjoyed having him around the house and you could see that he felt safe. Gun season brings out the worst in many people which is why I won't take my dog out while its open.

  4. Thanks a bunch guys. I appreciate your support and understanding.

  5. I'm very sorry to read this. Calling oneself a hunter or sportsman should confer a respect for the concept of fair chase.
    It's actions such as these that make me sometimes cringe at calling myself a hunter.

    I'm sorry for your loss....

  6. Thanks Bill. You hit the nail on the head! Thank goodness, that most of people I know, like you, who hunt, have more integrity and respect for the hunt.