By Joel McNally
Every year, more than 650,000 deer hunters lay siege to Wisconsin's
natural environment with weapons of mass destruction hell bent on
blowing away every deer foolish enough to step outside for a breath of
There's always been a gentlemen's agreement among journalists to
celebrate this carnage as sport or, even more improbably, part of our
"culture." Hunting is simply chamber music with live ammo.
While we are making things up, why not consider deer hunting in
even loftier and more reverential terms - as a natural extension of
American moral values.
Post Sept. 11, no American has to wait around to be attacked by a
deadly herd of does who hate our freedom. We have the right to take
pre-emptive action against a ruthless enemy of our way of life.
Deer are like a pack of wild animals. They run right in front of
our cars without looking both ways, giving absolutely no thought to
how much we may have paid for our SUVs.
Deer have no qualms about destroying the environment, either. They
eat it. At least, when we destroy our natural environment, we do it to
make some really nice profits for our shareholders.
Deer devour some of our most expensive and well-maintained
As civilized people move farther out into remote areas to enjoy
natural beauty and solitude and to get as far away from African
Americans as possible, the last things we want around us are wild,
Clearly, deer hunters occupy the moral high ground. And recent
history has taught us that those who claim the moral high ground have
a perfect right to impose their own morality upon everybody else.
We're not talking about any of those namby-pamby moral values we
learned in Vacation Bible School, all that wimpy stuff about thou
shalt not kill. We're talking about a new, more muscular, better-armed
We're talking about the kind of hardball morality Pat Robertson
dispenses when he warns that during natural disasters God will ignore
all prayers coming from communities that refuse to teach
fundamentalist religion in high school science classes.
Many believe chronic wasting disease is divine retribution against
deer for all their animalistic rutting. It sends the wrong message to
young people if we try to combat chronic wasting disease by any means
other than mandatory abstinence education.
This plague should send a clear message to deer to repent their
flagrant promiscuity and unnatural practices. Not that we would ever
want liberal, activist judges to grant deer the right to marry.
While we're amending our state constitution to deny equality to gay
people, we should specifically ban inter-species matrimony as well.
Some of those outdoor writers get downright ethereal waxing poetic
about the stunning magnificence of deer, not to mention their
unhealthy attachment to their hunting dogs.
How about a little grandiloquent poetry about Wisconsin's
magnificent herd of deer hunters? These men and even some women and
children take their lives in their own hands every year to go Up North
to communicate with nature and, if they're really lucky, blow some of
And what do these selfless deer hunters get in return for upholding
this treasured state tradition?
More and more private property owners have absolutely no
appreciation of the contribution deer hunters make to resource
management by unleashing a nine-day barrage of deadly firepower across
the landscape. Home owners rudely post "No Trespassing" signs to try
to prevent hunters from shooting through their children's bedroom
When hunters return triumphantly with bodies of dead deer stacked
like cord wood in the beds of their trucks, mothers in mini-vans make
faces and tell their children to look away.
Deer hunters are responding to that seductive, primal call to man
since the dawn of time that lures them back into the wilds dressed up
in blaze orange bib overalls.
They don't drink and play cards and kill stuff just for the glory
of it. They do it for their state. And they do it for the deer.
If deer hunters didn't blow away so many deer every year, there
would be too many deer and not enough food for the deer to eat and the
deer might die. Hunters have to destroy the deer in order to save
It's not hard to see the parallels today with invading and
occupying another country to force all the people who live there to
form a democracy at gunpoint.
Deer hunters are not going to cut and run until the mission is
accomplished. Deer hunters are not going stop laying waste to wildlife
just because the popularity polls turn against them.
Don't expect any withdrawal of deer hunters until victory is
assured and the deer have established a stable democracy, complete
with photo IDs for voting.
Joel McNally appears weekly on the WMVS-TV public television show
His e-mail address is: