Sunday, November 29, 2009

Season of the Orange Vests

So it may be the season to give thanks but certainly not if you’re a deer on this hill, unless you’re a suicidal deer. Starting Monday, the hills will be alive with the sounds of guys with loaded guns and cans of Bud.

This means that it’s time to pull out the orange mesh vests and see exactly how fat the dogs have gotten since last year. If it’s a year in which the same size vest fits easily over the dog bellies, it’s a year in which our Weight Nazi Veterinarian won’t shake his head ominously when we’re in his examining room.

Breaking out the orange vests is a time of great excitement and celebration for the dog population. (I can tell you after a lifetime of being owned by dogs that Pavlov wasn’t really that smart a guy.) For that matter, Petey and Suzy get pretty excited when L or I put on shoes too, but then it’s an excitement mitigated by the deep dog knowledge that shoes don’t always mean a walk for them. But orange vests always mean just that.

I have nothing against hunting except my own immoderate fear of death for myself and companions. What I do have something against are all the dumped beer cans in the woods. And for gods sake, why are they always Bud? Blowing the heads off innocent cute animals who are just minding their own business, OK, I get that impulse. But if you’re heading out to the woods with weapons, ammo and a lot of alcohol, couldn’t it be something better than Bud?

Sometimes my clinging need to preserve my life while walking in the woods during this season gets me started whistling, even singing (god help us), while on the trails. (This is related to my favorite anti-bear measure, much to the amusement of certain California in-laws, of loudly yelling Go Away Bears! while in the woods.) The whistling/singing during hunting season is based on the fervent hope that the hunters can put two and two together and understand that no self-respecting deer will tolerate that noise and they (the hunters) should all just pick up the six-packs and move off. So far so good.


Jane said...

Hi Joe~
Ah, I've used the singing tactic myself, hoping that the hunters can tell the difference between my soprano voice and the deer's. But hey, after all the Bud, it's a crap shoot anyway.
LOVE your blog and the pics of the sweet doggies. May we all get through another hunting season alive.

Joe K. Shoenfeld said...

Thanks Jane!

Ei Keegan said...

Sophie loves her vest as well! I noticed it was a tad snug. It must be from all the extra treats given during tick removal this year..."ya finally get rid of the ticks when they're replaced by bud-drinkin' hunters!"

emsquared said...

Hi Joe - our reprobate County government here in New Jersey sponsors deer hunts in all of the protected reservations and wildlife areas to keep the herds to a "manageable size" while "ensuring that negative deer-human interaction is reduced." I'd like to believe that people are driving a little more cautiously so this negative interaction probably refers only to the appetite deer have for common landscape shrubs and plants. Our local sleigh riding park was closed for two weeks during the last big storm so that the cranks could pick off as any as they could find (this being NJ, habitation and wildlife co-exist virtually one atop the other). Now we're back to having a bear hunt next autumn - cubs staggering out and collapsing on highways in pools of blood. I don't get it and I wish they'd use less drastic measures.