Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Touching the wild: Joe Hutto’s seven years living with mule deer

Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic-Vote Our Wildlife


“I don’t know how long I can continue because the sorrow I see in these animals is exhaustive. I can’t help but experience it with them.” – Joe Hutto

I wanted to follow up my column about Carl’s deer with a scientist’s observations about and heartfelt relationship with deer in “Touching the Wild,” a beautifully filmed, poignant documentary on public television.

Deer are the main species killed in the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ killing business. It is time to pay attention.

Joe Hutto, a trained wildlife biologist, says in the video that his seven-year journey started with a chance encounter with a young mule deer buck in the sagebrush. The deer “had such a peculiar interest in me.” Exchanging a series of head nods, Hutto said, “that deer was willing to see me as an individual and he very clearly saw that I also granted him his individuality. I…

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2 thoughts on “Patricia Randolph’s Madravenspeak: Touching the wild: Joe Hutto’s seven years living with mule deer

  1. This truly was an excellent documentary about mule deer and was shown last year on Public television. Mr. Hutto seems like a sensitive and articulate observer of wildlife. Therefore it was ironic and strange when he helped the two corpulent, douche-bag hunters who had just killed “Babe”, his purported friend, load their victim into their pick-up truck. Hutto seems to be a bit schizophrenic about the wild animals he writes about, whether mule deer or wild turkeys. On the one hand he recognizes their sentience and sympathizes with their tribulations. On the other he seems blind to the fact that human hunters, for the flimsiest of reasons, contribute enormously to wildlife’s woes? Judging by the combined weight of the two elderly scumbags that shot the mule deer, it’s unlikely that they were starving; nothing like a natural predator that has to kill to survive. You’d think a professional wildlife biologist could grasp that obvious distinction. If the mule deer Babe was truly your “friend” wouldn’t you be more inclined to beat his killers senseless than to help them recover their prize? With friends like Uncle Joe wild animals don’t need any enemies!

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