Lazy man’s ‘hunting’

Published 3:45 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2018

It’s deer hunting season once again in Buckingham County. Our rural road, now with 8 houses (one with children) in a half-mile stretch, looks like an armed encampment. Pickup trucks line the side of the road and “hunters” sit in ditches or lawn chairs alongside the road with their guns propped across their lap.

Ruth Lyn Meese

They are waiting for their dogs to run the deer out of the woods. Beer cans and trash litter the roadside for residents to clean up after the “hunters” leave. Many of these “hunters” come from locations near Richmond and outside of Buckingham County.

My uncle used to hunt. He tracked the deer and carefully observed their patterns. He built a deer stand and waited quietly for the deer he had chosen to appear. He used all of the meat and hide. Many folks today don’t like hunting of any kind, but at least my uncle’s brand of hunting required some skill.

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Lazy men “hunt” in Buckingham County. They paint numbers on the sides of their dogs and attach radio collars so they can track the dogs. They let their dogs out of cages kept on their pickup trucks to run free and chase the deer. The hunters drive in the direction the dogs are running.

They park along the road and wait until the deer and dogs emerge from the woods and then they shoot. When I have approached one of these hunters regarding how their dogs have run the buck, and the family of deer I have watched all summer, off my property, I am told, “Lady, my dogs can’t read your ‘no trespassing’ sign.”

My point here is that if I had been a hunter, I would not have been able to get the game from my own property because someone else’s dogs would have already run the game off! I have asked a “hunter” not to drop his dogs in the draw just off the road, a draw on our lot running down into the back woods on our property, only to be cursed at by this individual!

My husband and I have asked “hunters” not to stand along the road at our property line and have been told, “I’ve hunted here like this my whole life, and I ain’t stopping now.” I’ve had to take care of half-starved dogs, weakened by illness or injured by running, because the “hunter” took its collar off and simply left it in the woods when it could no longer run the deer.

We have also come home to find a large deer right in our front yard with its head cut off. This “hunter” didn’t even have the decency to donate the venison. S/he left the carcass for us to clean up and apparently was only interested in this animal for its “trophy head.”

Calling the Game Warden or the County Sheriff’s Office has been futile. As Buckingham County increases in population, it is time to begin a serious discussion about the impact on others of this “way of life.” I intend to write to my Board of Supervisors as well as to my representative in the General Assembly. In the past few years, a move to end this form of “hunting” was defeated in the General Assembly by these “hunters.”

If you object to the picture of “hunting” in the manner I have described, please contact your Board of Supervisors and your representative in the General Assembly and urge these individuals to take on this matter!

RUTH LYN MEESE is a resident of Buckingham. Her email address is