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Friday, December 05, 2003

"That New Jersey has any bears at all probably comes as a surprise to many people...."

Including me.

At Opinion Journal today, Geoffrey Norman pens an interesting article about the revival of wildlife in and about suburbia, and what it means for suburbanites.

He brings out a subject of profound interest to me--North America's burgeoning deer population.

Call it the return of the wild. People who once thrilled at the mere sighting of a white-tail deer now put up fences against them and think of them as "rats with hooves." Deer are involved in almost two million collisions with automobiles annually, with damages averaging about $2,000 and about 100 of them killing the driver. Deer also help spread Lyme disease.

It jibes with a recent experience in my hometown: a deer wandered into town in broad daylight and ended up breaking a downtown shop's window before fleeing back into the countryside.

No stolen items were reported.

Remember incidents such as these when I'm stalking out to the woods of rural Michigan next November, when critics think they are entitled to an explanation. Folks, we live in a world that has woods, and those woods have to be watched by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Squeamish Soccer Mom? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Bambi's mom and you curse the hunters. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Bambi's mom's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because, deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me in those woods, you need me in those woods. We use words like shotgun, scope, velocity. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who wakes and drives under the blanket of the very safety that I provide and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and sit in a stand. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to.

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