Barbed Wire by Doug Cooper: Be smarter than the average hunter

Hunters do things when they get out in the country that I would never do anyplace. The other day I turned off the county road and headed toward a steel gate into one of my pastures. There was a pickup parked there almost blocking the gate and one man standing beside it holding a compound bow. When I got about 25 feet from them, the hunter sent an arrow across the two track road in front of me into a cardboard box. It looked to me like the proverbial shot across the bow. I don’t know what this nimrod was thinking but I bet that shooting arrows across a city street would attract unwanted attention from the authorities.

During rifle season we were driving down a steep hill on a two track road. As we came over a small rise, there in the center of the road was a dead antelope with a high powered rifle leaned against it. Luckily, I was both driving slow and paying attention. That trophy could have had tire tracks all over it. While driving over a pronghorn antelope probably improves the flavor of the meat, nothing good would come from mixing truck tires and a hunting rifle. Yet the hunter placed his trophy and rifle, not alongside the road but right in the middle of it. This wasn’t something a person was likely to do back home in Wisconsin.

For hunters, this subconscious idea that the normal rules don’t apply leads to other forms of poor judgment. When I recently caught a couple of hunters trespassing, they decided to run away. I called the game warden and he started out from town. By the time the hunters had returned to their brand new pickup, the warden was already driving down the one county road they had to travel to get to a highway. The hunters smugly told the warden they had no idea why they were being pulled over. When I got there I had the technological advantage. I had taken their photos with my new GPS unit. When the GPS takes a photo it automatically records the location by latitude and longitude. With a few pushes of a button, it will display exactly where the photo was taken on an ownership map. The GPS user cannot edit the location information. So I showed the warden the hunter’s photo and where the photo was taken. The hunters left a little poorer, and maybe just a bit smarter.