The Sportsman's Corner
August 6, 2020
Summer is supposed to be the season of plenty in the wild. Young animals that have been born during the recent spring are growing and are becoming aware of the world around them. By now, whitetail fawns are beginning to venture into fields where they are visible. These charismatic animals give you a fuzzy feeling when you spot them on evening rides. However, things are not always easy and pleasant for wild creatures. Summer can be a time of cruel death as well. For instance, along any road you drive this time of year, you can witness the slaughter of animals, particularly young ones, that have ventured onto the road just as a car or truck has reached that spot. Hundreds of raccoons, groundhogs, rabbits, and squirrels join many deer as unavoidable roadkill victims along area roadways. I try to be careful, but, unfortunately, I have a pair of young groundhogs on my conscience this summer. Both incidents occurred rapidly.
While fishing early one summer morning, I found a dead doe along a local trout stream. I could not determine the cause of her death. Nearly a month later when fishing the same section of stream, I noted that scavengers had pretty much cleaned up her carcass, that nature had reclaimed her. However, only fifty yards later, I discovered a dead fawn. This was particularly disheartening, since it was probable that the fawn had died of starvation after the death of the doe, who was presumably the fawn's mother. I guess I am using these incidents to lead up to the inhumane incident where two teenage boys tortured a deer that one of them had wounded during the past deer season. They had videoed their brutalizing of the wounded deer and had then posted it on the Internet. Sportsmen and non-sportsmen alike were horrified by this inhumane behavior. It took some time, but finally charges were filed against them. The disposition for the older teenager, the stepson of Brookville's chief of police, is now public. Four felony charges were dropped against him in exchange for his pleading guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor charge of cruelty to animals. He avoided jail time but has lost his hunting privileges for 15 years. He is to be on call to speak at PGC hunter safety gatherings and is to perform 200 hours of community service. After two years of probation, he will be permitted to possess a firearm. Many sportsmen believe that the older teen's punishment was much too lenient.