Fall is in the air and many folks are awaiting hunting season. Whether they live for it, enjoy it, despise it or deplore it, hunting arrives with autumn’s foliage season. Unfortunately, many non-hunters fear it needlessly. Statistics show here in Vermont that walking in the woods is no more dangerous than driving to town shopping. A fluourescent orange or red hat, vest or jacket is perfect protection, so go out and enjoy. Hunting is a tool of wildlife management to control populations within their habitats. Absence of management generates overpopulation; in 1967/68, Vermont lost 100,000 deer to starvation. Vermont requires everyone to take a hunter safety course to learn how to safely use firearms before acquiring their first license, and has a youth season prior to the regular season to encourage young people to hunt. To participate they must be accompanied by an unarmed adult.
One year, I accompanied two girls who had taken hunter safety courses. I supplied one gun – each girl got to carry it for an hour before turning it over to her sister for her turn. I told them, if we see a deer and you decide you don’t want to kill it, I will be just as proud as if you did. – Jack Stannard
Editors Note: Edwin Norse writes that he and Jack Stannard were lab partners in Mr. Barstow’s chemistry class at BBA 50 or so years ago. He adds that they were like glue all through high school, and remain good friends to this day, despite the fact that he now lives in North Carolina. Norse relates that he and Jack recently took a slow drive in the early morning around the loop in Dorset Hollow, a distance of about five miles, to enjoy the scenery, remarking that “just listening to Jack point things out is a nature trip by itself.” Their excursion inspired him to write this poem:
It’s early morning, before the sun; The hollow road, I’m all alone;
The dawn will come, the clouds will run; It’s time to leave the
I have to take a left or right; Some clouds quite pink are drifting by; The low road will hold more in sight; Deep blue illuminates
The farms, high fields to which I climb; Lay out the valley there below; The brook, the water wheel, my rhyme; Are all upon you now bestowed.
The Hollow seems to mark each day; It’s now the fall and come what may.
Dorset Hollow on the 23rd of September, 2016, with fall beginning, top up.