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Deer season not welcome by all

October 20, 2012
Not a deer
Many in North Idaho look forward to it all year long. The days turn crisp with autumn, the leaves on the hardwoods and the needles on the larch show off their most spectacular colors and its finally here, opening day of deer season.

For many, it's a day to take a vacation day or call in sick at work, rise before the crack of dawn so as to be out in the woods as the first light of day spills into the forest. For others, it may mean a long drive to Boundary County in the days before the season opens to set up camp, stock up on essentials and be ready to get out there after this year's trophy buck.

Unfortunately, too many of those who arrive with the flush of buck fever are idiots.

Not a deer
Hardly a deer season goes by that there aren't a few sad tales of livestock and pets that aren't listed on the game tag being shot and killed, of hunters hunting where they shouldn't be, of close calls from stray bullets fired where people are and deer ain't, sometimes with grievous results.

Typically, it's the county's farmers who see the worst of deer season.

"I know I live in the wrong area to say this," said one Mom on the Westside, "but I hate hunting season. Some people have no respect. When they are told they can't hunt on someone's property, they ignore the land owner and hunt anyway, sometimes in the dark. When they see signs saying 'No Hunting,' they shoot the signs full of bullets. Well, in our case, shooting at the signs, means shooting in the direction that people are working or livestock are located."

Not a deer
The tales of hunting season woe are varied; a family watches as a car load of "hunters" step out of their rig on a county road and open fire, killing the family's pet dog.  A father and daughter creeping up on their prey when a car load of "hunters" stop on the overlook above and, from the road, some not even getting out of the rig, open fire over their heads, trying to get that buck first.

Last weekend, a Westside farmer found one of his calves dead in the road, hit by a carload of hunters. The calf's mother was lamed, probably hit by the same rig.

"There were a lot of vehicles with out of state/county license plates zooming up and down the road, ignoring our flashing lights and slowing down only at the last minute when they realized the cows were not intimidated by their loud trucks," his daughter said.

The hunters who think that because they received permission years ago to hunt on private land, they have a lifetime pass, along with their hunting buddies.

Definitely not a deer
"They think if they get permission once, it is a lifetime pass and they can bring as many buddies as they want," she said. "Then you've got groups of men scattered about shooting toward each other, or pointing their guns at the other hunters to look through their scopes to see who it is. There are certain people who have been banned from the property."

It's not that hard to hunt responsibly; Idaho Fish and Game even has a pamphlet they'll give you for free when you get your license and tag, that shows clearly, in pictures and words, what the game you're after looks like, as well as sage advice on how to visit our community and not be considered an idiot.

Why, they even posted it on-line, so if you're unsure what that critter in the crosshairs of that fancy $500 scope is, you can make sure that it is, in fact, what you should be shooting at. It's at, you can look it up right on your laptop or cell phone.

Oh, and before you pull the trigger, be sure to check what lies well on the other side of that trophy buck.

Also not a deer
"One year, my dad was working in the corral," that farmer's daughter said. "There were some deer in the neighbor's field. Some hunters, who may have had permission to hunt on that land, pulled up and shot at the deer. The deer were right between my dad and the hunters, so they were shooting right at him."

Local farmers, along with their daughters, wives and sons, don't much care for it when things like that happen ... and most of them have guns, too.

So hunters, please take a close look at yourself before you take that shot to see whether or not you might fall into that sad class of rude, obnoxious or unsporting sportsmen.

If the answer is yes and you see a farm family with guns headed your way, you can pretty much guarantee that they're not after deer.
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EXCELLENT article from yet another point of view! Debbie Dahlberg ... a farmers wife!