Running in the Backwoods

Yesterday afternoon when I looked out my kitchen window, I saw a deer running in the backwoods. I waited for the sound of gunshots, for the flash of orange as a hunter chased the deer. Neither came.

“Good,” I thought.  My sympathies are always with the hunted, with animals that are often coldly referred to as prey. How terrible to have to run for your life, to know that death is not far behind.

We are halfway through hunting season. For me, and especially for the deer, the end of this season can’t come soon enough. Then, I can work in the backyard without fear of accidentally being shot. (This doesn’t happen often in Maine, but it has happened, most notably to a young mother with twins. She was shot dead in her own backyard as she tried to warn a hunter he was too close to her house.)

When hunting season ends, Clif, Liam, and I can walk in the cold woods—my favorite time of year to walk in them. I’ll bring my camera and take pictures of all the little things that catch my eye.

Fifteen more days to go.

Our backwoods, with no running deer
Our backwoods, with no running deer

13 thoughts on “Running in the Backwoods”

  1. People who wants to play with guns should join the army or the reserves; they might actually get tough rather than acting it by pursuing defenceless animals. They might even get a chance to kill women and children too; who knows – all’s fair in war.

  2. We walked today out to a bird wildlife management area and it looked a lot like your photo. In MA there is no hunting on Sundays, so we feel relatively safe. Although we could hear someone less than a mile away doing target practice, which is unnerving and kind of spoiled our time. They release pheasants there in Sept. to be slaughtered by man and coyotes. I collected feathers and said a blessing for those poor things. We have a doe with twins around here and I hope they will be alright. So long as they stay close to residences, they will be.

  3. Hmm. I confess to having mixed feelings on this point. On the one hand, I have no desire to ever go hunting myself. And I would not like it at all if I had to stay inside in order to safeguard life and limb during hunting season. But around here deer are so overpopulated and they can do such damage to gardens and the environment. I know a guy who runs a nature preserve who has suspended all native plant restoration because everything is eaten by deer – and he’s not allowed to deter them in any way.

    1. Jason, I know that deer overpopulation is a problem in some parts of the country. Where I live, not so much, but there are deer aplenty. Two more weeks to go…

  4. I hear oyu, we lived in Canada right in the forest and hunting season for Charley dog and I was a bit of a bore…but I must say all was made good again with fresh venison steak on the menu ;0) xo Johanna

    1. Johanna, I’m sure there’s a lot of hunting in parts of Canada, too. Where there are woods…

  5. 15 more days? We have a month and 15 days to go. I wouldn’t mind hunting season but for the trespassers, poachers and those who hunt from the road and those who hunt with dogs. But that combination makes it a very difficult time of year here. As a neighbor told me, this is a great place to live for 11 months out of the year.
    Hoping your last two weeks go safely and peacefully.

    1. Bill, I’m so glad deer hunting is only a month in Maine. I think that in December, musket season begins. Or is it bow and arrows. Either way, there don’t seem to be many out in December. I know the feeling of living in a great place for 11 months out of the year. Stay safe!

  6. I’m at a loss for words which is not an easy thing but hunters, guns, wild animals, home owners – it’s a complicated business. I’m not a gun enthusiast, don’t see the need for hunting animals unless it is for food, and I really am not in favor of anything that requires homeowners to not be able to enjoy their outdoors. After thinking about the loss of that life and what her family has gone through, it is certainly better safe than sorry and may those 15 days pass quickly.

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