Conservation working well on deer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 2004

I have never understood the mentality needed to go out to the woods on a bitterly cold morning, climb a tree and wait for an unsuspecting buck to saunter by.

Now, before you deer hunters set your sights on me, let me explain.

I don't fault those people who do.

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In fact, I encourage them.

I'll go one step further and say I wish they would extend hunting season in an effort to remove some of those creatures from the sides of the highways and interstates.

I mean, you have to wonder, how many people these protected animals have caused to die over the years in car crashes.

When I was a senior in high school, I messed up my truck and nearly died of shock when one jumped in front of me on my way home.

My view is simple…kill them all and do it quick.

I'm all for conservation.

There is a reason why I have drink bottles, napkins and other pieces of trash in my vehicle. I don't throw it out because I don't want to mess up the environment.

However, it behooves me that we put the lives of a deer above mine or the lives of others.

Sorry for the rant, but this issue amazes me.

As I said, I'm all for the deer hunters.

Go forth and wipe them all out.

Enjoy yourselves.

I'll be here waiting for you to return.

That has always been my philosphy about hunting.

When I was a young teen, my friend Bill and I were spending the night at our friend E.O.'s house.

At some point after dark, we decided to go see if we could find any in the pasture behind his home.

We left (unarmed) and began trekking through the dark woods until we came to a barbed wire fence.

With some difficulty, I made it over the fence and followed Bill and E.O. into the dark night.

At some point we came into a clearing and began to shine our flashlights about looking for signs of life.

I will be the first to admit that I didn't like this situationa and was regretting the decision to venture from the confines of a warm house.

As we looked about, Bill spotted something and we began to move towards whatever it was it.

Suddenly, we heard something and then movement.

That is when I heard Bill yell for us to run.

Well you didn't have to tell this fat boy twice and I began a mad dash to God only knew where.

I remember running over someone, and to this day, still don't know who, but I never stopped.

I came to the fence we had crossed and up and over I went like it didn't exist.

I ran for what seemed like forever.

I tore my clothes.

I went through briars and other entanglements but finally on the hill I saw the house.

I ran for it, fell a few times, and finally burst through the door.

If the Hounds of Hell were indeed after me, they had lost the race to the finish.

I breathlessly got something to drink and sat down.

At some point later, Bill and E.O. came rushing in and just looked at strangley, wondering how I beat them back.

I didn't know and really didn't care. I had learned my lesson that I didn't belong in the woods and that evil creatures did lurk in the dark Alabama night.

Of course, the next day, as we retraced our steps to where we were when the creature attacked, I was embarrassed to find a herd of cows.

What were we running from and that's when a snort and a stomp of the hoof let us know…and that was a really big bull.

He let us know he didn't like our disturbing him the night before and in the daylight, he at least had three targets to go after.

The race for my life was on once again.

Moral of the story?

Protecting deer is a bunch of bull!

Jay Thomas is managing editor of the Greenville Advocate and can be reached at 383-9203, ext. 136 or via email at