WARNING: If you are offended by the act of hunting, stop reading now and preserve your belief that I am a bleeding-heart liberal, hippie, environmentalist communist.

Last Monday was the opening day of deer season in most parts of the state. That is, if you don't specialize with bows or muzzle loaders or participate in certain controlled hunts. By and large, dawn on Columbus Day heard the cracks and pops of large caliber rifles echoing off the mountaintops.

This past summer, my father called me from Texas and proclaimed he wanted to come up to Idaho to hunt some deer. I obliged. After all, I had been up in the woods the previous two years stalking big game myself. Unsuccessfully, unfortunately. Here was a chance for me to take my own pa hunting, something he did with me while growing up in Colorado and Texas.

We awoke early, drank a little coffee, then headed up Highway 55 to my preferred hunting spot, just a little over an hour away. It was cold, below freezing and there were plenty of other hunters in the area, some camped and just waking up, others driving in like us.

We parked, made our buddy plan with the walkie-talkies, outlined our walking routes (I'm not so modern with the ATVs ... yet) and headed out in the dim light of an approaching dawn. The sun had just hit the mountains to the north when--from my vantage point on my stump--I saw the doe walking down the logging road. Having drawn an antlerless tag this year, I slowly adjusted and fired.

For the record, I have respect for the animals that I kill, whether they be warm blooded or cold. And I always hunt or fish (except catch and release with barbless hooks) for culinary purposes in the most humane way possible. Needless to say, I will be eating venison this winter. It is appropriate timing for our Food Issue.

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