Barbarians Are All Around



I am 41 years old, married for more than 20 years, a mother of two teenagers and I work as an office manager. When I sit down to dinner, I lay my napkin in my lap and I chew with my mouth closed. I seldom use profanity, I never make rude gestures and I wear black to funerals.

Today I learned I am a barbarian.

I don't mind being a barbarian. Ms. Pratt, if you eat beef, pork or chicken, then you, too, are a barbarian. Do you wear a leather belt? Cutting off a piece of an animal and tying it around your waist is pretty barbaric.

Ms. Pratt, you state that we hunters march into the home of unprotected deer and ambush them. If you only knew how much more there is to it than that. The deer are protected by laws and by their own natural abilities.

For example, in the game management unit you sit in right now, 60 percent of the deer hunters came home empty-handed last year during the late hunt. How many beef cattle get away each year?

We hunters work hard -- harder than you clearly can imagine. We practice with our weapons until we can harvest an animal as quickly and humanely as possible. We hike long distances over rough, rugged country when we hunt. It's a great time. There is great satisfaction in knowing that come what may, our families will eat.

Anything you work that hard for is a trophy, whether it's a blue ribbon for the apple pie you've been perfecting or a bowling trophy.

I am not going to try to tell you that all hunters are as ethical or humane as they can be. But then, you can't tell me that all of any group always does the right thing.

I can tell you that the barbarians you speak of are all around you. We might be your doctor, your dentist, pastor of your church or your manicurist.

Ms. Pratt seems to have a picture in her head of a momma, a poppa and a baby deer, standing in the forest, nuzzling each other. The poppa deer services the momma about this time of year, and then leaves to find another momma to service. He doesn't have anything to do with her or her baby. If you look closely, I guess that's pretty barbaric, too.

Trish Iles, Payson

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