Friday, March 26, 2010

Harvesting Deer

Harvest – verb (used with object) to gather (a crop or the like); reap.

In this politically correct, advertising-driven world that we live in, it has become standard practice for the mainstream hunting media to talk about what we hunters do in watered-down language designed not to offend the sensibilities of anyone who might possibly spend a dollar on a sponsor’s product. Witness the popular use of the word “harvest” to describe the successful conclusion of a hunt.

Let’s get this straight. Farmers farm. Farmers harvest. Hunters hunt. Hunters kill… sometimes (more on that in a second). If the word “kill” offends you, then you’re definitely reading the wrong blog. Bye.

Anyway… I ran across this article the other day and it has stayed on my mind. It was written a couple years ago by a lady who (I’m just guessing) is probably not a hunter. In the article, the author describes a day at World Class Whitetails of Ohio (WCWO) in Millersburg, Ohio. All in all, I thought she did a pretty good job of recounting what she saw in a non-sensationalized, balanced kind of way.

In fact, I have just one beef with her story. That gripe is in regard to her description of hunters killing huge bucks at WCWO. Sounds like I’m contradicting myself doesn’t it? Well, read on.

You see World Class Whitetails of Ohio provides its clients with abundant opportunities to shoot 150+ class deer. In fact, WCWO guarantees that the 100 or so guests they serve each season will all get a trophy-sized deer. Their guests have about 200 acres of prime southern Ohio land to roam around in.

Yup, 200 acres of high-fenced, big buck infused feedlot where the number of inches you hang on the wall is limited only by the thickness of your wallet. Why, you can even browse their website and choose “your” deer before you arrive. All you gotta do is show up, shoot him, and sign the credit card receipt. No fuss, no muss, and no disappointment. You’re guaranteed to head home with a real honest to goodness wall-hanger, sure to impress.

Can I just say that I’d take an oath of allegiance to PETA before I’d pass through the gates of that killing field where guests are called hunters? What an obscene perversion of the word hunter. They are no more hunters than the guy at the slaughterhouse that whomps slobbering cattle between the eyes with a pneumatic sledge hammer. To call them hunters is an insult of the highest order to anyone who has ever put in the time and effort to kill a wild whitetail.

No, they aren’t hunters, they’re simply shooters, harvesting genetically manipulated, hormonally enhanced, hand fed, pen-raised livestock. No more, no less. I’m not here to pass judgment on either sellers or buyers, but let’s just call ‘em what they are - farmers and shooters. Please don’t associate what I do with what takes place at WCWO.

So here’s a vow. I’ll never harvest a deer, and I’ll never join the Safari Club which (according to the WCWO website) has awarded two world records and one pending world record for deer harvested on the WCWO feedlot. I’ll nominate ‘em for a 4H award though…

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

What a good, thought provoking post.

I've never been for high fence outfits but this made me look at all different kinds of outfits and really explore my thoughts on those. I think I've had some change of heart. I'll have to blog about it, I'm sure. Thanks for stirring up my brain cells this weekend!

I also never knew SCI let "estate" bucks into their books. That is just not right, not at all.

Ryan said...

I actually produced the promo videos for this World Class about 3 years ago (before I realized exactly what the Ranch was and how they ran their hunts).

After I had the . . . privilege. . . to go on an actual hunt, I saw a pretty sad site. A huge 18 point buck was drugged to the point of imbecility, and shot by an impatient hunter from about 20 feet away.

I'm no PETA fan either, but seriously. . . this is not hunting, and not fun.

And I don't produce their videos anymore (their quality has really suffered as a result).

Anonymous said...

Wow! How pathetic. How wrong. I don't know how anyone involved in that can look at themselves in the mirror. I applaud you for severing ties, but I'm sure they can find some video production folks from the porn industry to step in.

Ward said...

This boggles my mind. I don't think we can do that here in Canada. I'm pretty sure you can't even get a license to keep a whitetail in a pen let alone go in and shoot it.

I completely agree. It's not hunting. Simply deer farming like cattle. Boggles my mind that anyone could award a record of any kind for that. unless it's a farming award.