The Dreaded Day is Upon Us

I awoke this morning to the sound of angry gunfire. Not just the occasional, distant pop, pop but a constant blam, blam, blam symptomatic of wartime—or of people shooting blindly into a whole flock or herd of fleeing animals. I knew it was almost “general deer season,” but this sounded more like the kind of mindless blasting that goes on during goose and duck season in the winter months around here. So I checked the Washington “game” regulations and sure enough, an all-out “incredible war on wildlife” (as Cleveland Amory put it) had begun!

Not only is Oct. 13th (fittingly) the opening day of deer season, it’s also an early opener on ducks and geese today as well. From now until the end of November, no deer, elk, goose, duck or bear is safe from human harm. Meanwhile, species like cougar, bobcat, fox or raccoon will be under the gun until mid-March. And coyotes, crows and other “common” animals can be killed year-round in this supposedly blue state. The only beings not on the list of allowable targets are six endangered species (who of course were driven to the edge of extinction by overhunting decades ago).

I knew this dreaded day was coming; I just hoped it wouldn’t get here this soon. On the bright side, this is also the first day of a long streak of steady fall rain storms which should make for some rusty guns, water-logged campsites and miserably wet nimrods.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson

7 thoughts on “The Dreaded Day is Upon Us

  1. A few years back, I complained to the Director of WDFW about not being able to enjoy the state’s many natural areas with the ever expanding hunting seasons and opportunities. His response was that if I felt uncomforatable, then I should just stay home. So much for 95% of the population that does not hunt. Shameful!

    • This reply astounds me! Seriously?? I would like to say that this degree of callous disregard surprises me, but it doesn’t. I came back to Washington (where I was born) after many years in California. The only thing that saves areas like the San Francisco Bay is the ample wilderness that’s held in trust to land conservancies … meaning “no hunting” in vast tracts of land around the Bay. I wish there was a way to secure the land around Washington in similar ways. I’ve been warned more than once that I wasn’t in proper hunter-orange attire when hiking known, populated trails. It’s heartbreaking but there has to be a way for us, the vast majority, to once and for all, assert some claim to non-violent land use. It’s ridiculous that this violent minority holds sway over every agency.

      • Ridiculous to say the least! I’ve seen that blatant, callous attitude from the WA DFW in answer to a letter from another animal activist about the DFW’s policy of killing off all the native elk in the Methow Valley (in Northeast WA, where I used to live) to enhance the “trophy” mule deer hunting in that valley. In a thinly-veiled threat, the DFW responded that she should just be glad there aren’t elk hunters in the area because when they gather for an elk hunt, they behave even worse than deer hunters…

      • I believe it. I had insomnia last night and watched “Lockup.” I normally avoid the show as it is too disturbing, but this was about Iowa State Pen where my Dada worked as a guard for a little over a year.

        An inmate, Chai Vang, was deer hunting 11/22/04 in Northern WI when he came across six other deer hunters. One of the six hunters called him some Asian Racial slurs and Vang pushed him. The Man opened fire on Vang. In a fit of rage, Vang shot and killed ALL six hunters.

        Don’t let anyone tell you hunting does not bring out the worst, nor promote human violence in the worst way.

        Needless to say, I had a hard time getting back to sleep wondering what the allure is about killing which some humans feel, even against each other.

  2. Pingback: How the Grinch Stole Hunting Season | Exposing the Big Game

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