Friday, November 21, 2008

The Longest Time Of The Year

I am really beginning to dislike late November.

I used to look forward to the coming winters because that was about the only time of the year that my sinuses weren't bothering me. Now that I'm getting older, I still like winter, but I am finding that with each passing year, it is taking my body longer and longer to adjust to the cold. And the extreme cold temperatures bother me when they never used to. And the snow. After last year, I really am not a big fan of snow anymore.

Novembers are even worse in election years. The adrenaline rush of the election is wearing off for most people now. Plus now that the election is done, the number of hits I'm getting is way off. I went from 5.7 down to 5.3. Per week.

And don't even get me going on the holidays. People stressing out about being ready for Turkey Day, and all the Christmas ads are already driving me crazy. I do still appreciate the dissonance of seeing stores with Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations up at the same time. I'm waiting for the Santa Claus dressed up like a pilgrim going trick or treating.

But these three weeks are the absolute worst for Casa Capper. I'm talking about deer hunting season. As my 5.3 readers know, my wife and I love going up north. It is relaxing for both of us to get away from all the hustle and bustle of city life, and a chance to enjoy the peace, the tranquility and the beauty that can only be found in the north woods.

One of the things we enjoy the most are the birds and the animals (except for chippers and raccoons). The last couple of times, we were able to witness a flock of about 30-40 goldfinches flittering about the feeders. We both sat and watched them for hours. Then their are all the other birds, like the chickadee that ate out my hand.

We are also fortunate to be regularly visited by a family of flying squirrels. I lose track of time as I try to get them used to my presence. They haven't eaten out my hand yet, but I have gotten close.

For mrs. capper, the big draw is the deer. She has always loved deer. We did the typical Wisconsin honeymoon at the Wisconsin Dells, and her absolute favorite part (well, second favorite - I hope) was the Wisconsin Deer Park. I will never forget the awe in her voice the first time we went there and she just said, "Oh, honey! Look at all the deer!" I don't think I'll see many times when she might be happier then that time, surrounded by deer.

Now we have our own deer park in the back yard. We put a little corn out for them. (Yes, Mr. DNR Ranger Man, only two gallons at a time, within the allotted distance from the castle.)

As dusk settles, she will sit by the back window in the kitchen for hours just to see her deer. There are a number of them that we have grown to recognize just by their color, special markings, and/or behaviors. One of them is a gorgeous twelve point buck that she has named, of course, Bambi. We have watched Bambi grow up from a fawn over the past several years, and have grown to think of him, and the others, as "our" deer.

We have grown so attached to them that we no longer go up to the castle during hunting season. It is too hurtful for us to hear the guns and see the field dressed deer on the back of trucks, vans and SUVs.

Oh, I understand the need for the hunt. Two, three years ago, in the melting snow of the spring, I found the body of a doe that had died near the path. She had a broken leg, presumably from being hit by a car, and was unable to find enough food. She must have suffered as she laid down to die.

But even though I understand the need to cull the herd, it doesn't mean I have to like it.

But I do have some expectations for the hunters out there:
  • If you shoot a deer, and its not dead, spend the money and put it out of its misery. I once saw a hunter that sat there waiting for the deer to die a slow, painful death. I ended up doing it for him, the cheap bastard.
  • If you got to go hunting, and get a deer, use the meat. Either for yourself or donate it to a pantry. Otherwise, your just a sick type of sadist.
  • Don't call it a sport. It's not. A sport is a contest between equals. If you want it to be a sport, give the deer high powered rifles, let them use six packs as bait, and models as decoys. What it is now is just a expurgated form of assassination.
Meanwhile, my wife and I will be staying in the city, worrying about our deer. They've survived this long, which means that they are either smart, damn lucky, or both. After that, we will be going up there every weekend until we are sure whether or not they made it through another killing season.

With all sincerity, I do hope that the hunters have a safe trip, enjoy the company they're with, come back with lots of funny jokes they'll share with us, and that no one gets hurt.

But you'll have to forgive me if I do cheer for the deer.


  1. her absolute favorite part (well, second favorite - I hope)

    It was her absolute favorite.

    That's what she told me, anyway, after a few glasses of chardonnay.

  2. Now I know you're fibbing. She only drinks White Zinfadel.

  3. That's what YOU think.

    Back to Bambi-watching for you...

  4. This is what I miss about Wisconin. Yes, we have 70 degree days in Vegas, but I miss seeing the deer, even if they are bumping off my car. (2 totaled cars in 2 years)

  5. I think I see the problem. Dad29 must have met my cross-dressing Uncle Charlie. Dad, are you the "charming older gentleman" that Uncle Charlie has been swooning over?