Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 6, 1999

By Lee Dresselhaus / L’Observateur / January 6, 1999

So….I just saw the most amazing promotional video I have ever seen. Itseems there is a place in one of the Carolinas, either North or South – I don’t know which and I don’t think it matters anyway – that is an exclusive hunting preserve or resort or something like that. This placeprovides – for a price – several days of hunting the various varmints that roam about the place just minding their own business until somebody comes along to shoot them. Now, I don’t have a problem with that, really. Idon’t mean to sound callous but I consider it a food chain thing. Which theyare lower on than us (well, most of us, anyway) and in the real world things happen to critters who are lower on the chain than some others. Thepart that got me was this: On that preserve, reserve, resort, or whatever is a tower. When a hunterdecides he wants to hunt ducks he pays the appropriate fee. He is thentaken out into a pre-set area and hunkers down in a metal box so that other eager hunters won’t pepper him with shot and he waits patiently. Inthe meantime several hundred hand fed ducks follow some guy up a little zig-zagging ramp to the top of the aforementioned tower. They do thisbecause they are fed daily at this tower. After feeding they fly from thetop of the tower to a local lake where they swim and do duck things until evening, when they all march back to the area of the tower because that’s where they eat every day. It’s a system they’re comfortable with. On a particular day – a Wednesday they tell me – these unsuspecting ducks follow whoever the guy is who feeds them, then leads them to the top of the tower like a treacherous Pied Piper, and they fly off to their lake. Theonly problem for them is that our intrepid hunters are now waiting between them and the lake. As the ducks approach they suddenly comeunder a blistering attack by the bushwacking hunters. They don’t stand achance and fall from the sky faster than Saddam’s planes during the Gulf War.

The video I described shows the trusting duckies walking merrily up the ramp, their little heads bobbing as they ascend. They then fly,unknowingly, to their doom.

Somehow this just doesn’t seem fair.

Now don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against hunters. If your thing is tokill critters and then pose for pictures with their pathetic little corpses I say go for it, Davy Crockett. But,I mean, it just doesn’t seem like muchof a challenge to blast a duck out of the air when you know where it’s coming from and exactly where it’s going. You may as well have itdelivered to you in a cage and just wring it’s neck. It would have about asmuch of a chance to get away as it has when it runs smack into that sudden wall of lead from several eager beaver hunters whose frenzied rate of fire resembles the anti-aircraft batteries on the World War 2 aircraft carriers as they frantically shot at attacking Kamikazes.


And while I’m at it I may as well make everybody mad and bring up deer hunting as well. Aside from the fact that people will spend severalhundred, even thousands of dollars preparing themselves, their equipment, and their vehicles to kill a deer and end up getting about sixty dollars worth of meat to put in their freezers if they’re lucky enough to blunder across some suicidal deer, I find the methods used in this endeavor suspect as well.

Where is the challenge in sitting up in a tree and shooting a deer from hundreds of feet away with a scoped rifle? It’s not even dangerous, or even risky, unless you count the possibility of dozing off and falling out of your tree stand and impaling yourself on the barrel of your three hundred dollar rifle or the more likely possibility of being shot by some other well trained sportsman who could have sworn that you were a big ol’ orange deer up in that tree.

If you want a challenge you should stalk the deer with a knife, wrestle it to the ground like Tarzan and dispatch it in a mighty, manly struggle. NowTHAT would give you some bragging rights as you slammed a few brews with the boys. Or, if you really, really wanted things to be on a levelplaying field, you could strap a set of antlers onto your head and have at it with your intended victim in his own style. Wait, though. Running aroundthe woods with a set of antlers on your head during deer season might result in your being strapped to some squinting, nearsighted hunter’s hood or even mounted over his mantle. Bad idea. Forget I suggested that.Well, take heart, intrepid sportsmen. With places like that resort orwhatever it is around there will always be plentiful critters to kill without too much effort on your part. What’s that, you say? What about thefishing? Don’t even get me started.

Lee Dresselhaus is a regular columnist for L’Observateur

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

Internet services provided by NeoSoft.

Best viewed with 3.0 or higher