I wasn’t planning on writing about doe tags again, but there was so much feedback I felt it deserved another post. I wasn’t really expecting the sheer volume of responses and replies that I received, primarily via social media. Nothing could have made me happier, because one of my goals is to open dialogue on these topics. I pondered a lot on how I should respond, or even if I should respond. I landed on going through some of the comments and simply reply.
“You can’t eat the antlers”
“They all taste the same”
There were lots and lots of comments to this effect, which means some people read my post on social media, but may not have read the article. I agree, they do all taste the same! I don’t usually ask if the venison burger I’m stuffing my face with was a buck or a doe. I think doe meat is even better a lot of times. The topic of conversation that I am trying to generate is asking ourselves if we choose to fill our doe tag, are we doing it ethically?
“Facts don’t care about your feelings. Mass deer hunting is for Population Control.”
Couldn’t agree more, facts don’t care about my feelings at all. These posts that I am writing are solely my opinion, unless I am citing a source. I also agree that hunting in general is a part of wildlife management and conservation. But again, that’s not the question I am trying to raise. Let’s be clear – I completely understand that not everyone is going to agree with me and my opinions, and guess what? That’s okay! But if we don’t have these conversations, how can we further educate ourselves and more important, new hunters?
“I am one who has never held a doe tag and a little reserved on getting one. Kudos to you for applying for one and exploring that avenue. Maybe someday I will.”
This comment stuck with me. Mainly because, until last year, I felt the same way: reserved on getting a doe tag, because I didn’t want to shoot one. And that’s okay too! I would never shame someone who chooses not to get a doe tag or shoot a doe, just as I would not shame someone who does choose to shoot one.
“Don’t take this the wrong way, because it’s great that you are passionate about the outdoors. But, your article makes it seem like you know very little about hunting, deer biology, or the way Massachusetts manages the deer herd. It comes across as someone with very little experience casting judgement on other hunters.”
So although I did write back to the OP on this one, I wanted to dive a little deeper. I definitely don’t think I am inexperienced when it comes to the outdoors and hunting, but I WAS inexperienced when it came to telling the size of a doe from afar – because before last season I didn’t want to shoot one. The main reason I brought up this point was to express that I am always trying to learn within this sport. I want to learn everything I can to be a better sportswoman, both for the benefit of successful hunts and out of respect for the animals that put the meat on my table. Why I take the consideration that I do, before I pull the trigger, is my decision and I want to keep opening discussions like this. Last and most important: I think it’s important for me to say that I am not looking to cast judgement on ANYONE in the hunting community, however I do think it is imperative that we have these types of conversations. If we do not talk about ethics in the sport, then what example do we leave our youth whom we are so desperately trying to encourage into the sport?
“Ok I see ya point . I too used to think my actions improved the herd etc …. but once I started seeing the political aspects and the coyote pop explode I was done !”
To anyone reading this – we need to MAKE OUR VOICES HEARD. Regardless of the political aspects that have an impact on our sport, we need to get involved. This comment made me realize that not everyone in this community knows that they’re the only ones who can make a difference. Get involved with your local Rod ‘n Gun clubs and help normalize hunting in the community. We can make a difference, but not if we don’t try. We can’t assume others will be our voice, we have to make a voice loud enough that others will listen. That is the biggest reason I am here writing.
Thanks again to everyone that took the time to comment or message me regarding the post – I hope you’ll continue to read and engage. Happy hunting!