Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Fine and Noble Sport

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

Sedalia is a small town in central Missouri whose primary claim to fame is that it hosts the Missouri State Fair each autumn. Coincidentally, it is also the home of a institution of somewhat higher learning that goes by the name of State Fair Community College. Other than those two modest achievements, the community of Sedalia maintains a rather lackluster existence.

But recently Sedalia managed to get itself into the national news. A local yokel was participating in the Missouri state sport - Deer Huntin' - when he pumped two rounds into a large buck. As he walked over to admire his apparently dead trophy, the nine-point, 240-pound animal jumped up and gored the hunter.

Score one for the deer!

The buck turned and ran before falling over dead - this time for real. The sportsman fired two more rounds into him before daring to approach the animal a second time.

Although I am not a hunter (and I am an animal lover), I grew up in Missouri and have some firsthand knowledge of the deer hunting mania that sweeps over the state every fall. When I was a principal in a rural community in south central Missouri, we had to declare a couple of days as holidays for deer hunting each year. School was dismissed so that students and teachers could go tromping off into the woods in pursuit of glory. We "had" to do it because so many students would skip school anyway that it was not economically or educationally sound to try to hold classes.

The moron's at the NRA like to refer to hunting as a "sport," but I've always held that it won't be a sport until the deer have guns. The hunters in Missouri do their best to make deer hunting interesting, however, even if it is not truly a sport. They increase the challenge by consuming alcohol. Not all hunters stumble into the woods drunk, but enough do that it infuses a real thrill into the experience. And add to the mix the city-slickers who wander into the woods to prove their manhood -and wind up shooting mules, cows, and the occasional pissed-off farmer, and a morning in the woods can become a real test of survival.

Yes, the deer population does need occasional thinning, and yes many Americans go hungry a lot of the time and could make good use of the meat. But couldn't there be a more humane and less macho and idiotic way of harvesting the herd? Football is a sport, ping pong is a sport, any event where a person is as likely to win as he is to lose is a sport. Deer hunting is just killing - the deer never stand a chance of winning. A person who wants to kill in a "sporting" situation needs to be going up against foes who are armed. There are ways to do that, and they often involve an enlistment bonus!

Go git 'em, Bubba!

No comments: