Djagechyer Deer?

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This weekend was Deer Opener in Minnesota. So the traffic going up to the cabin resembled Fishing Opener, and the entire experience was like Fishing Opener, but with more blasting and less splashing. Also, we didn’t see a single deer all weekend, and other critters were acting strangely. Something spent part of the weekend living under the porch and driving the dogs nuts, for instance.

We heard when we arrived late Friday Night that a hunter saw a timber wolf (and the timber wolf saw him) while the hunter tried out his deer stand earlier this week. The folks who own the hardware store spotted two wolves by the road just around the curve from our cabin. Plus … and this is very exciting for Kenzie and Baily (the dogs) … I hear tell there was some wolf poop over by the boat house yesterday. But they eated it. I’ll look around in the morning to see if they left any for me. (To look at.)

OK, Saturday AM, I checked out the wolf droppings, and it is not wolf droppings. Rather, they are pretty classic bear droppings. That’s good for the dogs, because I don’t think they have much to worry about when it comes to black bear, but I’m not so sure about wolves. Well, actually, I suspect that one of the dogs would die defending the realm against the wolf intruders, and the other would join them.

The point on which the cabin sits is surrounded by beaver, who have started to take down saplings and are likely to begin soon to gnaw into the larger birch, including the hearty varietals just planted in front of the cabin in the buffer zone. Time to call the beaver guy. Soon enough, these rodents will be somebody’s hat.

An immature eagle has been seen, not local, so it must be migrating. A small flock of tundra swans flew by this weekend, and a large flock, a hundred or so strong, of hooded mergansers stayed in clumps on the lake for a while and then flew off.

Since this weekend is Deer Opener we heard the frequent Cra-krack of rifles and the occasional boom of a shotgun. Wind conditions are pretty good and visibility is pretty good, so the expectation is that more hunters than average will “get their deer.” Mike at the Mule Lake store had only tagged one deer when I saw him at 9 AM. It must be hard for him, having to mind the store, with almost no customers (everyone is in their stand waiting for their deer … everyone but Mike, that is) while hunter after hunter stops in, gets gas, registers the deer sprawled in the back of the pickup, and moves on. Assuming Mike hunts. Other businesses just close on Opener. The landfill, for instance, inconveniently for us.

Deer opener is like the first icy storm of the year: Dangerous, but mostly for the hunters.

A Twin Cities area kid was shot by his father in Big Stone County, from an accidental discharge while dad was loading his shotgun. The slug went through the box of the pickup and into the cab first, so it was probably slowed down a bit. That’s west of here, in shotgun only territory. Lucky it wasn’t a rifle. Up near Fargo, a hunter shot himself in the wrist. He did not have the safety on, tripped, fell, and BLAM!!! How embarrassing.

Somebody, as yet unnamed, took some bird shot through the third floor window in Saint Paul. Probably unrelated to hunting. But it does remind us to not go near any windows and to armor our homes above the first floor level.

A 16 year old kid used his foot on which to rest the muzzle of his rifle, heard a deer (or something), grabbed the gun (which I’m guessing did not have the safety on) and shot himself. He’ll live, but his foot will probably never be the same. Melissa Johnson, from Henning, fell through the floor of her deer stand and busted up her legs.

The Governor, who has been nicknamed Elmer Fudd by most people I know, failed to bag a deer this year.* A few years back he created a thing called the “Governor’s Deer Opener” ostensibly to draw attention to hunting. Really, though, it is just to embarrass any Non-Hunting governors we might elect. What happened, last year though, probably caused Elmer The Guv Pawlenty to regret this cynical move. He went out hunting but had an important gubernatorial meeting in the afternoon. So when he shot a deer but only wounded it, he left it to suffer and die (or not) on his own. When the public heard about this, he claimed to have sent out his aides to find the deer and dispatch it. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal, but, well, he’s the governor so he’s above the law, right? That deer was never found.

This year, mercifully, he just missed.

In Wisconsin, the Hmong living in our area elected a new leader. That in itself is interesting, but for another post another time. But it reminds me of a few years back when a Hmong man, Chai Vang, was caught hunting in the territory of some white guys, threatened, called a chink and a gook, and shot at. He was not really doing anything illegal, but what appears to have been a handful of hyped up PTSD vets and their friends and relatives saw it differently (not that shooting him would have been justified in any case). They got together a posse, apparently to kill him or at least drive him off using gunfire. But it turned out that the man was a very experienced Laotian special forces fighter, so he took them out. He killed six of them and wounded two. Vang is serving six life sentences.

So, it was a pretty typical Deer Opener. At least this didn’t happen:

Information on hunting mishaps culled from from WCCO web site.

Have you read the breakthrough novel of the year? When you are done with that, try:

In Search of Sungudogo by Greg Laden, now in Kindle or Paperback
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27 thoughts on “Djagechyer Deer?

  1. Mike might be getting a little lonlier this year. Minnesotans can now register (which might not be quite the right word) their deer online. Ben did. No tag, just a confirmation number.

  2. I managed to find a few deer this year. I also saw a pair of gray jays (which I never knew existed) and more red squirrels than I knew could be in the same place at once. Global warming seems to have been merciful this year and allowed the temperatures to drop nearly on time.

    I’ve heard wolves being blamed for low deer populations, but we haven’t seen any wolf sign for the last two or three years.

    Also, since I’m a firearms hunter, it’s too late in the season for something like this to happen…and I’m glad for that.

  3. Hunters need to be MUCH more careful tying deer to their vehicles. I’ve seen a LOT of deer lying alongside the road, having slid off when the ropes or straps came loose . . . .


  4. Vang was trespassing. He pursued people he admitted knowing were unarmed, shooting four of his victims in the back. Some victims were shot multiple times. He said he shot two of his victims in the back for being “disrespectful”.


    atheists, we’re gonna cut off your heads…


  6. Gord, there is no doubt that Vang, suffering from PTSD, mercilessly attacked his victims. But he was not trespassing and he was defending himself, and his attackers were being a) racist idiots and b) working class white-ass gun nuts typical of the region. Vang should not have done what he did, but they were asking for it (yes, I’m blaming the victims because they deserve the blame) and had this been a white hunter surrounded by armed Hmong shooting at him and yelling threatening crap at him, he would not be serving six consecutive life sentences today, and you know it. He might be incarcerated forever, but more likely in a mental health facility and there would be some acknowledgement of what actually happened.

    By the way, for you Wikipedia editors out there, it is pretty obvious that there is not a strong Hmong contingent on the Wiki. How do you remove the bias from an article like this?

  7. It’s not self defense when a trespasser pursues unarmed people and shoots them multiple times in the back. You’re sick.

  8. I read just fine. It’s a fact Vang was trespassing, it’s a fact he pursued his victims, it’s a fact he shot them in the back, it’s a fact he admitted in court he knew he was shooting unarmed people. That you defend him shows how sick you are. That you are now blocking my comments shows how weak you are.

  9. No, you read like you just crawled out of some swamp.

    Your facts, to the extent they are facts, represent only every OTHTER fact. You left out the fact that the tidy whities shot first, for instance, and that they attacked Vang. Vang certainly did overreact … he went nuts … but he was in fact reacting to being threatened with his life and fired upon.

    Yes, I’m holding your comments in moderation. I was doing that because I’m on my way out and this blog will not be your bulletin board for your racist postings, though I don’t mind your comments (as long as they are answered to). So, generally, I’ll post them after I have a look at them.

    Of course, if you keep insulting me, I’ll add that my blog is not your bulletin board for insulting your host.

    Actually, yes Vang was trespassing ultimately, though he started out on public land and accidentally ended up on private land.

    Normally,when that happens, one does not shoot at the trespasser and hurl racial slurs at him.

    It is notable that the 15 people who ran him off their land seem to have started shooting and making the death threats after he was peacefully leaving.

  10. Vang says he didn’t shoot first. In light of what he did, I don’t find him credible. Unlike you, I haven’t made any racist remarks.

  11. I remember hearing about the Vang case when it happened. I didn’t keep up with it and never knew the back story. A real life “first blood” except unfortunately of the wrong race.

  12. His version of the story, once he got to tell it, rang true to those who heard it, and had all the hallmarks of a non-made-up statement. I believe him.

    What we have here is one cracker (Gord) defending some other cracker’s (Vang’s unfortunate victims, who shot first).

  13. Vang says he didn’t shoot first. In light of what he did, I don’t find him credible.

    OMG, my head just spun around trying to follow that circular logic.

  14. What we have hear is you defending a murderer because his victims were white and he wasn’t.

    In his version of the story Vang admitted pursuing and shooting unarmed people multiple times in the back. That’s not self defense.

    In court under cross examination Vang was asked if his victims deserved to die. He said only three did: Robert Crotteau, “because he was the one who confronted me and called me names”; Joseph Crotteau, “because he accused me of giving him the finger and tried to cut in front of me to stop me from leaving”; and Allan Laski, because “he had a gun”. That doesn’t sound like self defense, that sounds like a violent, unstable man – and Vang had a history of violence and instability, ask his wife – lashing out in a murderous rage.

  15. Earlier this year some Australian (and in Australia) shot and killed a two-legged deer whom he and his conspirator knew – it wasn’t clear from news report what color jacket the deer was wearing. I wonder if anyone was charged over the “accident”.

    Now what’s with the shotguns? Are there really people so dumb as to go hunting deer with shotguns? Even if you used a solid slug it’s nowhere near as good as a 0.30 of some sort – or even a 60lb bow for that matter.

    Lots of accidents – pretty typical year then. Still a lot of folks with guns and no clue.

  16. I remember reading about the Vang case. It sounded like a case of being the ‘wrong’ race. It brings to mind the case in Michigan a few years ago, of a group of men beating a young Asian man to death, because they thought he was Japanese (he wasn’t). The men got off BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT HE WAS JAPANESE! Presumably, had he been Japanese, they would have been convicted. Something like this also happened in Oregon with a young Ethiopian man who they thought was African American. Of course we have the case of Oscar Grant in the Bay Area, a man who took BART New Years Day because he intended to drink and party and wanted to be responsible. He got into a drunken altercation with another group of partyers who reported it to the BART POLICE. There were no injuries and not further contact. The BART police should have just checked it out instead of escalating it. They were drunk, and behaved like drunk men. It was a simple case of excessive force in the beginning followed by the officer pulling his gun and killing Mr. Grant. While Grant was no angel, The officers held most of the blame for what occurred. The officer involved was just sentenced to two years with time served. The justice system is not always just.

  17. Now what’s with the shotguns? Are there really people so dumb as to go hunting deer with shotguns? Even if you used a solid slug it’s nowhere near as good as a 0.30 of some sort – or even a 60lb bow for that matter.

    You can’t use a rifle in about half of Minnesota. That’s true in lots of states.

  18. Gord: “What we have hear is you defending a murderer because his victims were white and he wasn’t. ”

    Actually, what we have here is me saying “… there is no doubt that Vang, … mercilessly attacked his victims. … Vang should not have done what he did ” but you not being able to handle the complexities of life.

    Yes, it is true that Vang was much like, for instance, a lot of US veterans who had been put through the meat grinder he had been put through. He had a history of violence (though calling him “a violent man” is a bit inaccurate if we want to stick with the facts) and there are reports of domestic abuse. I wonder how much violence and domestic abuse occurs among the average randomly chosen group of 20 Hmong men of his age? Of the average randomly chosen group of 20 white men of that age who live in the region of Wisconsin/Minnesota in question?

    Noe of which being relevant to the fact that they tried to harass, and even shoot the “gook” and then it turned out that the gook happened to be an unstable combat hardened highly trained special forces officer with serious PTSD who had probably tracked down and killed dozens of armed soldiers in a much more difficult forest in his day. Ooops. They laid their racist shit on the wrong guy, on the wrong day.

    Let that be a lesson to you, Gord. My suggestion: Stay anonymous on the internet and maybe you won’t get our ass blowd up by the Mossleman.

  19. This is a very bizarre, yet somewhat enlightening article for me, being a kid living in an area that seems very far from the area described in the post. Here in my hometown, I would consider the closest thing to hunting to be accidentally shooting your dog with a little, plastic BB gun. It seems like the common feeling around here, at least, is that hunting is inhumane and seems to cause more harm than it does good, as was supported in the post by the incidents regarding unintended fatalities and injuries related to hunting.
    However, surely, there must be more than a couple of reasons that people go hunting despite the risks involved. Perhaps it is to reconnect with nature or family, or maybe itâ??s just to enjoy a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation. Either way, I have trouble siding with my peers here at home. Personally, in reality, I actually would like to try going hunting some day, maybe then I could get a sense for the excitement and thrill of the activity. So really, I am curious to figure out why do you or people you know go hunting?

  20. John, if you want to go hunting for the thrill, I don’t want you out there. We hunt for (sustainable) meat and to control the population of animals whose main predators we’ve killed or chased off.

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