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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Fall 2009 Issue

Deer Companions - A true Wildlife Story by Thomas Lee Boles

REVIEWED BY E.M. FAY.

This highly personal account of one man's devotion to the deer he visits regularly at a deer farm in Minnesota - as well as his vivid memories of other deer friends from his earlier life in New Mexico - grabbed me from the first poignant paragraph. Difficult financial circumstances force him to move away from beloved long­time deer companions and a pleasant climate to a new life in the cold northern state, where he fears he will never again know the joy he experienced amongst the deer at the Alameda Park Zoo in Alamogordo, NM.

Happily, Boles does discover a deer preserve he can visit, not too far from his new home, and he easily forges new attachments with its beguiling hoofed residents. Although his work life is not as satisfying as he might wish, the mutually agreeable relationships he establishes with the deer he soon names - Sugar, Whisper, Honey, A.J., among them - are just as deep and meaningful as those he had with Bambi and Faline, whom he reluctantly left behind in New Mexico. He also finds some friendly souls amongst the workers at the deer farm - called "Fawn-Doe-Rosa."

As charming as Boles' portraits of his new deer friends are, the author also shines a light on the many illogical policies and practices associated with deer "management." Boles effectively debunks the myths of "over-population" and the "need" to cull herds to prevent the spread of disease that are so dishonestly used by state agencies and other hunting advocates to justify their cruel slaughter of a beautiful breed of harmless animals.

Employing a wealth of references from books and newspaper accounts, he exposes the lies of hunters and their best friends, the members of state "conservation" and "environmental" commissions. The inherent unfairness of the small minority population of hunting Americans being over-represented on these boards is discussed, as well. Boles adds an extensive appendix detailing the artificial manipulations of deer herds undertaken for the sake of the hunting minority in every state.

Boles has an elegant way with metaphors which makes Deer Companions a pleasure to read. He quotes eruditely from such great thinkers as Pythagoras, DaVinci, Arthur C. Clarke, Einstein, and Gandhi, all of whom contribute much-needed clarity to the age-old question of human exploita­tion of animals.

Published by Xlibris Corporation, Deer Companions is available by call­ing 1-888-795-4274, or visit Orders@Xlibris.com.

E.M. Fay is Associate Editor of the Wildlife Watch Binocular.

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