Disappearing deer

Dungeness Recreation Area is open to pheasant hunting on weekends and holidays from October through January. Before the shooting begins the deer disappear like clockwork, although it is illegal to hunt them there. The area is stocked with pheasant that are raised to be hunted.

I’ve been told by more than one person that the Dungeness Recreation Area originally was a hunting reserve and the hunters deeded it to Clallam County on the condition that they be allowed to continue to hunt. As more housing has surrounded the area they have asked the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to help them find a more remote area in which to hunt.

The area across the street from the Recreation Area, Blue Ribbon Farms, was once owned by Pabst Blue Ribbon as a hunting reserve. Many local hunters remembering hunting ducks as children where housing now stands.

Hunting is part of the local culture here. If you eat meat is one better than the other: raising, hunting and killing what you eat or having someone raise and slaughter it for you? I’m not sure there’s an easy answer, at least from where I sit.

6 thoughts on “Disappearing deer”

  1. Hunting is part of the local culture in Texas, too, though I am not a hunter. Now that there are 7 billion of us, it is becoming more and more difficult, but crucial, to answer the question, in my opinion. Down here, I find that the majority of folks won’t discuss it rationally or dispassionately. It is a subject that promotes fights.
    If you eat meat, I guess it comes down to the quality of life for the “prey” animal. Is it better to raise it in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions and feed it things it isn’t meant to eat, like grain and/or meat fed cattle pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones in hock deep filth so packed together that they cannot support their own weight? Is it better to raise it in decent but expensive and rare conditions with a well suited diet and plenty of water, like organic feed for pastured chickens, cattle, etc.? Is it better to let it run wild and free in regulated parks and give it at least a chance to evade the hunters? Or, do we all stop eating meat and let all of the former “prey” become extinct? All very difficult questions which many people find so distasteful that they don’t even want to face the harsh reality of the questions, much less the answers.

  2. When walking in the Dungeness Rec Area on a recent visit to Sequim (in Sept) – I found this sign confusing. Hunting in a recreation area where people walk, walk their dogs, bike, and bird watch? Seemed an oxymoron at the time. You’ve and on my next visit, in November, I will be much more aware and careful.

    And, wondered about the name “Blue Ribbon Farms” originination. Your extra bit of related history answered that question too.

  3. Does the shooting range raise the birds for that hunt? Because yesterday when I drove by there, I noticed all the birds were gone.
    As for hunting at Dungeness, mixing hunting and a recreation/walking/tourism area makes no sense. We avoid that area when hunting is going on.

  4. It’s hard to get information about the Dungeness area hunting. Even the hunting regulations are contradictory, from what I understand. Until last year hunting was allowed on Wednesdays, but that was changed shortly before the season started. Still, many hunters were out on Wednesdays because the book showed that it was allowed. This year apparently it says it’s okay in one place but not in another. We have emailed more than once to try to get more detailed information but not gotten response. What we know we learn from hunters we’ve talked to. It is worrisome because the Five Acre School borders the recreation area and children are often taken into the area. And last year we declared Mondays “Beer Can Day” because we found beer cans by or near the trail more than once.
    I believe most hunters are responsible and realize they are carrying deadly weapons, but it only takes one thoughtless or tipsy gunner to make a tragic mistake.
    I’m not sure where the birds are raised but it makes sense that they might be local.

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