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Sherwood Harrington

The kid in the picture linked below is me in January or February 1949. The guy is a fellow named Ralph who my parents rented an apartment from for a while. The thing with the tag is groceries. I don't remember Ralph ever telling stories about hunting, but, then, I don't remember him ever telling stories about going down to the dry goods store, either. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sherwoodh/3165446957/

Mike Peterson

The element of necessity is real, and it's also acknowledged, at least in western Maine. When the boys were little, we ran into the remains of a butchered deer -- well-butchered, it was just hoofs and bones -- and I explained to them that, in hard times, sometimes people hunted out of season. But a couple of decades later, I said something about that to a Maine Warden and he had no patience for it. He said that, if people were hungry, they should come to the Wardens, because they set aside seized game for food banks. Hunters donated portions of their kill to this purpose, as well. There's no reason to poach, he insisted: We'll feed you.

The Maine Wardens have their own reality show now, but I already knew they were cool.

Sherwood Harrington

The only auto accident I've had so far was in upstate NY when I hit a deer in 1969. It was a big one: smashed up the front end of the Rambler something fierce. When the State Trooper arrived on scene, after a cursory glance to see that none of the three people in the car were actively bleeding, the first words he said were, "You don't want the deer, do you?"

I have always presumed that he wanted it for himself. Now I realize that maybe it was for a food bank like the one you describe. I'd like to think that was the case.

Mike Peterson

I don't know about that ... because of the labor required in getting it dressed out before it is ruined. Time works quickly in these matters, and you'd have to get it to a sympathetic butcher pretty fast.

I did hear a very funny story about an ass't school superintendent hitting a deer and getting it tagged by the trooper, who then helped her load it into the trunk of her car, high heels not being geared for such efforts. But she said the value of the venison was more or less cancelled out by the damage to the vehicle.

She and her husband had a farm with, among other things, beef cattle, so I'm sure she was able to deal with it handily once she got home and changed.

Mike Peterson

(I kind of assume the vegetarians have checked out of this conversation awhile ago.)

Sherwood Harrington

Not just vegetarians -- "That could have been Bambi's MOM, you troglodytes!"

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