Saving A Little for the Grandchildren

Reader Contribution by Joan Pritchard
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I am not normally a resistive person, but requests to hunt on my private property are beginning to raise my ire.  Here I am, just a small farm owner with a few acres of grassland and a couple of fields.  I go out on a regular basis and work my heart out managing the land so that volunteer trees don’t overtake the pasture or that I allow the thistle to overtake the meadow.  I leave some good grasses where quail and turkey can live normal and protected lives and hopefully, raise their young.

This summer I must have had at least a dozen requests to fish in my pond.  These requests apparently came from individuals who had not noticed that we were having a drought and there was no water in the runoff ponds.

This fall, I am getting requests from individuals who just became aware that the cost of beef and pork are expected to rise and so they are thinking deer meat might be an affordable alternative.  Never mind that my entire property is posted “No Trespassing, No Hunting, No Fishing.”  I guess these requests spring from the hope that it never hurts to ask.

It is the requests to hunt game birds that make me snarl the most.  I love to watch the turkey trail across the edge of the pasture, ducking in and out of the protective trees, peeping, tweeting and gobbling their way to breakfast.  The quail are so bold as to come to drink from the garden pond and eat the scratch from the bird feeder.  Pheasant are more often heard than seen, but I’ve nurtured a pair for years in the far windrow.  When I see any of my residents I feel it is a successful and blessed day.

To be kind in my response, I recognize that requests often come only out of ignorance to the extensive management it takes to have game of any kind on my farm.  People don’t realize that mowing is planned for post nesting or that a stand of trees was left for intentional shelter.  I’m sure most would think a pile of brush in the field unsightly, but I’ve noticed the birds don’t agree much with that.

I stand firm each time I am asked in my reply.  “No, you cannot hunt on my land.  I don’t allow hunting or fishing of any kind.  You see, I’m saving a little wildlife for my grandchildren to see.”

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