If the War Against Civilization Hits Our Shores Again, I'm Moving to North Dakota

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Jan 10, 2007 3:19 PM

Sure, it's cold, but I think we need to be tough enough to stomach the sight of deer carcasses, at the very least, in order to properly defend ourselves:

Troubled by the sight of bloody deer carcasses hanging off cars and pickup trucks on North Dakota's highways, state legislator Duane DeKrey proposed a law requiring hunters to throw a tarp over their kills. He might as well have painted a bull's-eye on his back.

The bill caused such an uproar that he withdrew it on Monday, just days later.

``Some of it was even a lot more vitriolic than I ever dreamed it would have been,'' said DeKrey, a Republican representative from a rural district in and around the town of Pettibone. ``It was quite evident which way the bill was going.''

I was actually working on the sports page of a newspaper when management made the decision that we would no longer publish "dead deer" photos. Where I worked, every now and then, a 10-year-old would knock quietly on the door to the newsroom and pop his head in, grinning ear-to-ear. When you felt that blast of fall air, and saw his little, red wind-burnt cheeks, you knew what was coming next. He had a kill to show you. You'd grab the camera, tromp out to the truck behind your little guide, and snap one of him holding the buck's head up by its antlers.

It ran in the sports section: "Billy Entwistle, 10, killed this buck in Wolf Pit Saturday on a hunting trip with his dad, Danny Entwistle." I was sad when they changed the rule. There was never much blood or gore involved, and the publicity made the kids so happy. After the rule-change, we had to settle for only pictures of barefoot 10-year-olds showing off catfish bigger than their torsos.