Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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October 20, 2013

MARTINO: Transporting deer? Keep it covered

Hunters should be respectful of those who dislike sight of game

Last week, as I pulled up to a stoplight, I noticed a truck in the adjoining lane. I was envious. The driver had obviously seen success earlier that morning as a deer laid in the bed. He intentionally left the tailgate down for others to see. Behind him were two women in a sedan intently staring at the lifeless animal. Although I could not hear what they were saying, I could tell by their actions they were not overly impressed by the public display.

Most hunters appreciate the luck of other hunters. All you have to do is go by any check-in station and you’re sure to see people gathered around, telling stories of their hunt while they stand proudly with their harvest, while others listen.

Without a doubt, one of the best parts of consumptive hunting is bringing your game home, either for the dinner table, as a new mount for the living room wall or both. But the journey from the woodlot to the wall can be long and hard and there are some unwritten rules to consider before you begin.

It wasn’t that long ago a buck strapped to a car top was a source of pride. But those days have faded. Nonhunters, though they may understand the importance of hunting, might not want to see vehicles parading through town with dead animals in the back. Several states used to have laws requiring hunters to transport deer in open view but they are quickly dropping these decades old rules, preferring instead to have hunters keep their game under wraps.

And for the most part, that suits responsible sportsmen just fine, especially as more hunting takes place in urban areas. We have all heard stories of people driving with deer in an open bed of a pick-up truck or on one of the open-air cargo carriers only to have someone pull up behind them and either start cursing or shaking their head in disgust. We don’t need that kind of publicity. We want to minimize exposure to those who may not necessarily oppose hunting, but who dislike the sight of a bloody deer laying in full public view.

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