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.