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The Deer Hunter

One Woman’s Horror (and Hypocrisy)



If someone you knew and liked asked to hunt deer with a cross bow on your property, what would you do?

It’s been happening for years. Various service and delivery people come to our home, notice the abundance of deer, and ask if we’d be interested in allowing them to hunt on our property. I offer a tight smile and a firm “no.” 

One day, my husband, Bill, was the only one at home when Richard, our oil deliveryman, showed up. He’s a great guy, with whom we have a cordial, bantering relationship. Turns out, he is also an avid deer hunter. That day he made Bill an offer he couldn’t refuse: ten cents off per gallon of oil if we let him hunt on our property during the February hunting season. 

Later Bill proudly told me about the deal he’d negotiated. “We saved eighty-seven dollars. Isn’t that great?”

Umm—no not great. Disturbing. Weird. Unacceptable! Didn’t he understand that I didn’t want someone creeping around our backyard in the wee hours of the morning, picking off deer with a gun? 

“That’s the best part!” enthused my husband. “He doesn’t use a gun. It’s not permitted in residential areas. He uses a crossbow.” 

A crossbow! Had my husband lost his mind? Did he really want a reenactment of The Hunger Games happening in our back yard?

“We’re not doing this,” I declared. Even I could hear how shrill I sounded, but I didn’t care. “Just tell him that we’ve changed our minds and we’ll pay back the money. No harm, no foul!” At that moment, Richard’s 4x4 Ford truck pulled into our driveway. We were both struck dumb as he exited the vehicle and stealthily crept into our backyard. “What’s he doing?” I hissed, alarmed that things were moving so quickly. “This wasn’t supposed to happen until February?” 

“He’s putting up cameras.”

“Cameras—what for?”

“To monitor the herd’s daily routines.”

“Isn’t that cheating? Like dropping explosives into a lake to get a big haul of fish?” 

“Well, he’s only going to shoot one,” Bill whispered defensively.

“But they’re a family! I see them every day! I’ve watched the babies grow up. Do you have any idea how guilty I’m going to feel?” 

“Honey, there are at least ten deer out there. He’s only going to take one. He keeps some of the venison for himself and the rest is donated to help feed the needy.”

“Really? And what do they feed them—Mama deer burgers, Bambi stroganoff?” My eyes filled with tears.

Bill was clearly exasperated. “I don’t know why you’re being so unreasonable. You hate the deer!” 

Let me backtrack a bit. It’s true. I have a love-hate relationship with these pretty Disneyesque creatures. The deer path runs right through our property so I see the whole gang on a daily basis as they hoof it across our yard. I enjoy watching them congregate beneath our fruit trees to gorge on fermented fruit and get drunk. I have gasped in admiration while glimpsing the herd prancing through newly fallen snow. And who doesn’t love seeing an adorable baby fawn scamper after its sloe-eyed mother?

But the deer are also a pain in the ass. They are notorious garden destroyers and very brazen. I once opened the front door to retrieve The New York Times and came face to face with a pair of very large antlers attached to an enormous buck who was still casually chewing—having eaten every bud and leaf off my prized ornamental hibiscus.

And perhaps the worst transgression of the deer is that they are carriers of ticks that have the Lyme disease pathogen. Bill and I have both contracted Lyme, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. But did we have to kill the deer? Weren’t they victims of the ticks too?

Richard must have caught wind of my unhappiness about him hunting on our property because he dropped off a peace offering: a package of frozen venison and the promise of the recipe for a “great marinade.” Eww.

I realized that I was being totally hypocritical. Where did I think meat actually came from? I knew perfectly well that it was harvested from animals. Purchasing meat at the supermarket wrapped neatly in plastic didn’t make me any less culpable. But still—cameras, a crossbow? It’s a family of animals that had grown up before my eyes, in my own backyard.

For a month, our deer hunter showed up every day at dawn, and again at dusk. Every time he cut the engine and his black truck rolled slowly into our driveway, my stomach roiled with anxiety and my conscience pricked with guilt for not putting a stop to this. But I needn’t have worried. The deer were smarter than the cameras, the crossbow, and the hunter. Richard never got even one.

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August 2018

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

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Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

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Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
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Telephone: 203-413-6735
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Cost: Free

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1 Harbor Point Road
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Cost: $50

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Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
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Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Cost: $37-$42

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Cost: free

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Keeler Library
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View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
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Cost: Free

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Maritime Garage Gallery
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
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Cost: Free

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Heather Gaudio Fine Art
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
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Caring for a loved one who is ill is stressful and exhausting. It can be a profoundly isolating and lonely experience. Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County and Wilton Library invite you...

Cost: Free

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Wilton Library
137 Old Ridgefield Road
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Telephone: 203-762-8958, ext. 316.
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Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
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View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Sing choral classics on Tuesdays in August! Each week, a different work led by a different conductor. No performance, no worries: just show up and sing. Summer Sings are a relaxed way to...

Cost: free

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Sponsor: Music on the Hill
Telephone: 203-529-3133
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Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
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Website »

More information

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Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

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Maritime Garage Gallery
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Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
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Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
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More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
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Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
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Wilton Library
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Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

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The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
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Cost: $75

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Stamford EMS
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Sponsor: Stamford EMS
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Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

Trace the life cycle of food at Grace Farms with Community Garden Manager Ashley Kenney, Pastry Chef Leah Jones, and Director of Operations Adam Thatcher. From produce and cut flowers used in the...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Website »

More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

Nature is on display in “A Reverence For Nature” with pieces that reflect the artists’ admiration of nature or the environment in a multitude of ways. Exhibiting artists include...

Cost: Free

Where:
Maritime Garage Gallery
11 North Water Street
Norwalk, CT  06854
View map »


Sponsor: Norwalk Parking Authority
Telephone: 203-831-9063
Contact Name: Nadia Martinez
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Stamford EMS and Safety4Kids (S4K) are teaming up to present an important summer safety event: a Bike Safety Roundup on Saturday, August 18th at Chelsea Piers from 9am – 10am.  ...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Chelsea Piers Connecticut
1 Blachley Road
Stamford, CT  06902
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Sponsor: Stamford EMS and Safety4Kids (S4K)
Telephone: 203-968-1118
Contact Name: The Loft at Chelsea Piers Connecticut
Website »

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Cost: $7 per private garden; children 12 & under free.

Where:
Redding, CT


Sponsor: The Garden Conservancy
Telephone: 888-842-2442
Contact Name: Open Days program staff
Website »

More information

Explore the InSitu garden in Redding, open for self-guided tours to benefit the Garden Conservancy. This eight-acre sculpture garden is a showcase of architecture, horticulture, and art, seamlessly...

Cost: $7 per person, children 12 and under free

Where:
InSitu
73 Diamond Hill Road
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Sponsor: The Garden Conservancy
Telephone: 888-842-2442
Contact Name: Open Days Program staff
Website »

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Looking for some family-friendly activities this summer? Visiting museums is educational and engaging for even young children, but tickets can often be expensive. Luckily, The Friends of Keeler...

Cost: free

Where:
Keeler Library
276 titicus road
North Salem, NY  10560
View map »


Sponsor: Keeler Library
Telephone: 914-669-5161
Contact Name: Carolyn Reznick
Website »

More information

The Lewisboro Library’s Nightclub Concert Series has a special treat on Saturday, August 18 – a “Beatles Night” featuring a Beatles tribute band and a Beatles Trivia...

Cost: $30/per person

Where:
Lewisboro Library
15 Main Street
South Salem, NY  10590
View map »


Sponsor: Lewisboro Library
Telephone: 914-875-9004
Contact Name: Liz Gabriele
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More information

On June 23, the Bruce Museum in Greenwich opens Expressionism in Print: The Early Works of Richard Haas, 1957 - 64 in the Arcade Gallery. The exhibition will be on display through October 21, 2018....

Cost: Free for members; $10 for non-members; $8 for seniors and students with ID

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06830
View map »


Telephone: 203-413-6735
Contact Name: Scott Smith
Website »

More information

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Cost: Three and Five Class Packages (3 times for $33, 5 times for $42)

Where:
Vary with each class
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Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Artis pleased to present “Burn Baby Burn”, a group exhibition featuring works by Kathleen Kucka, Dennis...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (203)801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

Take a 2 ½ hour narrated train and riverboat ride through what the Nature Conservancy calls “one of the last great places on earth,” the Connecticut River Valley. The train...

Cost: $37-$42

Where:
The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
1 Railroad Ave.
Essex, CT  06426
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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