THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Tales from the old-timer
Issue Date: October 3, 2012
The Deer Harvest
A new euphemism is in vogue in DNR and governmental language in recent years. It is harvest in reference to reducing the state deer herd numbers. Reports speak of harvesting of wild deer annually, instead of the former term kill. Now messing with the language in no way changes facts. Using harvesting is an attempt to disarm persons who oppose deer hunting and a useless attempt. I am not opposed to deer hunting, but I do oppose twisting language to disguise facts. Every fall season thousands of hunters with rifles, crossbows and long bows kill many thousands of deer and enjoy the venison with their families and friends.
The term harvest has always meant cutting and gathering wheat, corn, vegetables, apples, all varieties of farm crops and some wild edibles, not animals.
It reminds me of the newspaper obituaries that, striving to spare grief, say that the deceased person has passed away, surrounded by his or her families. Nothing wrong with that, but when a deer is knocked over by a 30-30, it is not your usual harvest. The deer is killed by the projectile and there is no fooling of anybody to suggest otherwise.
I have never seen references to harvesting rabbits, squirrels or wild ducks. This euphemism is used only with reference to the annual deer kill.
Former President Teddy Roosevelt went on a hunting trip to Africa in 1909, and killed numerous African wild animals, posing proudly with some huge carcasses, with his rifle right in his hands. These dead animals were not claimed back then as a harvest.
The deer herd has to be managed, as they eat young trees in their earliest stage, and damage farm crops and even urban gardens when their numbers strain their food supply. We dont find young cedars on our land much any more, and apparently the harvest in this area could be increased.