Why Save the White Deer?
The practical reasons
The moral reasons
“If I kill this deer, I deny another the same experience.”
“from charlie elk
Once upon a time I was an opportunist hunter. If I came across fowl or beast during an open season, I did my best to kill it. Then somewhere along the way it came to me I do not have to kill everything. Perhaps it was during my first white deer encounter, but I can’t be sure. While watching the particular small white doe, her pink eye shining back at me, a feeling of peace and contentment descended around me. With the thought; if I kill this deer, I deny another the same experience.
Like many hunters I have numerous mounts which I have always viewed as my feeble attempt at possession of their beauty and wildness, as all hunters come to realize eventually. The mount will trigger pleasant memories of the hunt (making it well worth the effort to get a mount).
But there is a certain sadness in the back reaches of your mind – your possession is never really complete.
Below is a letter that was sent to several local newspaper editors, columnists, and outdoor writers prior to the April 14, 2014 Wisconsin Conservation Congress vote on a proposal (#35) to make the hunting of white deer legal in the state. The outdoor congress is predominantly attended by hunters and is only advisory to the DNR Board, but reflects hunter attitudes. The resolution ultimately lost by a 2 to 1 majority, which will hopefully send a message to lawmakers that even among hunters, shooting white deer is not a popular idea.