Archive for Thursday, December 13, 2007

Hunters find strength in traditions

December 13, 2007


Mary Garzillo, 15, has patience running through her veins.

The Lawrence High School sophomore learned it from her father, Charlie, and the time they've spent in their tree stand southwest of Lawrence just waiting to take a perfect shot at a deer.

She got the chance on the evening of Dec. 4. After more than two hours in silence, Mary spotted a four-point buck 240 yards away and aimed her .270-caliber Winchester rifle.

"I was really excited. My heart was pumping," she said. "While you're sitting there waiting, aiming, it just sort of freaks you out."

Apparently not enough to rattle her steady hand and aim. She shot the buck in the neck. It was her first deer with antlers; she shot a doe last year.

"She's a phenomenal shot. We're real proud of her," her father said.

Hunting has become a tradition for the family, who live south of Lawrence near Pleasant Grove. The Kansas regular firearm deer-hunting season ended Sunday, and although some hunters don't expect overall harvest numbers to be impressive, success stories of family tradition do emerge.

"It's the only thing me and Dad really get to do together," Mary said.

Charlie Garzillo learned from his grandfather, an avid outdoorsman. He now takes the opportunity to pass down his knowledge of the outdoors to his family and also his neighbor Sam Hird, 16.

He's taught them how to clean the animal, and their meat is also processed. Mary, who has an interest in veterinary medicine, took most of the organs to school, and her animal science class dissected them.

The white-tail, antlerless extended season for firearms will be Jan. 1 through 6, and state officials won't have harvest numbers until weeks later. They do expect between 70,000 to 80,000 deer to be harvested, said Lloyd Fox, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks big game program coordinator.

"From everything I've heard, it was a pretty good season," said Bob Mathews, a department spokesman.

In Douglas County, some hunters reported success, like the Garzillo family, but others didn't see as many larger bucks as they would have liked.

Doug Woods didn't score until the end of the season, as he shot a 10-point buck Saturday night. But Woods and his son Wyatt, 14, an eighth-grader at South Junior High School, were able to spend time together for some "bonding time."

"It wasn't a productive season, but it's always an enjoyable season," said Woods, a Douglas County Sheriff's lieutenant.


Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 5 months ago

I worry about people who enjoy killing animals.

If you're eating them, I suppose that makes hunting acceptable: You're dealing first hand with the bad karma of your flesh diet.

But for people killing animals to relax or for enjoyment or bonding or for trophies or whatever, I think you're totally sick.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 5 months ago

"bad karma of your flesh diet"

What does that mean? Seriously.

Jeff Rice 10 years, 5 months ago

I saw the headline for this article and thought to myself "Great, I wonder how long it takes until the first moron comments about how hunters are "sick" or "immoral" or whatever." I'm not surprised it was the first comment. Congratulations on being a moron, Oracle.

domino 10 years, 5 months ago

jkr1739 - ya beat me to it!!

I've always said, I would rather have my husband and sons out hunting or fishing that spending evenings in a bar drinking - I've worked in bars and seen many "family men" spend their evenings their evenings doing exactaly that instead of being home with their families.

redneckwoman 10 years, 5 months ago

That reminds me I have a package of deer meet in the freezer. I guess we're having chili this weekend. mmm good! ;)

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 5 months ago

jkr1739 (Anonymous) says:

I saw the headline for this article and thought to myself "Great, I wonder how long it takes until the first moron comments about how hunters are "sick" or "immoral" or whatever." I'm not surprised it was the first comment. Congratulations on being a moron, Oracle. --

Thanks for noticing, jkr1739. By the way, please don't shoot my cats.

tvc 10 years, 5 months ago

I am going to submit a photo to the paper, and I would like to take a poll. Which animal should I kill and pose with: A) cat B) dog C) rabbit

tolawdjk 10 years, 5 months ago

@tvc Which one do you plan on eating afterwards?

It's amazing really how much ignorance is out there on hunters and what they do. Personally, I don't know of any hunter within the state that doesn't either a) eat everythign they kill, or b) donate meat in excess of what they will consume to other people. If people consider themselves "hunters" and take the time and effort to properly learn the rules and skills necessary to end a hunt successfully, odds are the meat will be eaten.

Those that are just in it for a trophey or a mount usually are known as "poachers".

Paul R Getto 10 years, 5 months ago

Culling the "rats with antlers" is a good idea. Few are vegetarians, and all who eat meat are participating in the killings, then waiting for the product to arrive in a nice, plastic-wrapped package. We are all killers.

76_IH_Scout_Dad 10 years, 5 months ago

Great article, unfortunately I see multiple photos here with the subjects breaking one of the cardinal safety rules of firearms hunting. You do not use the optics of your firearm to "glass" or scan for game.

tvc 10 years, 5 months ago

Well, I don't eat meat, but here is what I am thinking. 1) I am going to put its head on my wall. 2) I am going to use its fur for something fantastic to wear. 3) I am going to donate the meat to a charity or cook it up in something for the neighbors. Rabbit stew or dog kabobs sound good?

tolawdjk 10 years, 5 months ago


Well it doesn't really matter then, does it? I mean considering you probably won't bother going through a hunter safety course.

Or the fact that you desire a dog/cat/rabbit head on your wall, or consider dog/cat/rabbit fur a key ingredient for something fantastic to wear. If you are giving meat to neighbors, you might want to ask them if they prefer dog, cat, or rabbit. I'm guessing that rabbit will probably be your safest bet unless you are deep into Little Korea or something.

Overall though, considering your hypocritical nature on the subject, it doesn't really matter, so knock yourself out. I would recommed doing it while it is cold though so that you decrease the risks of contracting furborn parasites/buggies/mites from wild/feral critters.

Or are you planning on shooting someone's pet?

Kristine Bailey 10 years, 5 months ago

As far as harvesting meat goes, the deer have a better go of the end game than any cattle in a feed lot who then has to stand in line as everyone in front goes down with a pellet stick to the head. The deer is going along, ever watchful of strange looking trees, having a nibble here and there and poof! Very lean meat. I explain it as assertive grocery shopping, especially since I go for plump does. Since the Doe has twins or triplets after her 1st pregnancy, she is responsible for the overpopulation. Everybody gets Doe tags, Buck tags are fewer.

institches 10 years, 5 months ago

Deer meat is less fat than your traditional dyed,MSG'd, too fatty beef you find in grocery stores. Hunting keeps the deer population down so they are not starving or becoming diseased; so good job Mary, good job Doug! Just a couple less deer for drivers to hit and maybe getting themselves hurt in the process. I know of no hunters around here that don't eat what they kill.

tvc 10 years, 5 months ago

I am "riled up" about the picture not hunting. Many people would find it appalling if I proudly held a dead kitty by the scruff of the neck and smiled. I am pretty sure there is no way the paper would print it. A guy just got 30 days for killing a rabbit when rabbits are routinely used to test products. My dear friends, it is your hypocrisy that I am pointing out.

Most vegetarians/vegans are well aware of leather shoes. Vegans have everything from special glue to condoms, so to think that we have not checked what we wear on our feet is insulting to our intelligence.

Lilfish338 10 years, 5 months ago

Congrats to Mary! I know how I felt when I got my first buck and the sense of accomplishing a goal like shooting a buck is great! The dedication to waking up early, being in the cold, being patient and quiet, is quite amazing for a young lady to achieve!

Joe Hyde 10 years, 5 months ago

I think it's great that Kansas has developed a deer hunting culture. And not just a firearms culture but also archery. Even photography (which may not sound like hunting, but that's only if you've never tried it.)

In the late 50s and early 60s, when I was a kid, it was practically front-page news if anyone in Kansas reported seeing a whitetail deer -- or even the tracks of one. Now whitetails are commonplace, as are mule deer in the western part of the state. Hunters and non-hunters alike contributed to this success story.

I think often about getting into deer hunting. But I just don't have the setup necessary for properly hanging a carcass to age the meat, plus I'm ignorant about butchering technique. So for me the "after kill" processing expenses by a professional butcher would hit my budget pretty hard. I'm sure glad so many other people can do these things, though!

domino 10 years, 5 months ago

Not being raised as or by a hunter, the whole thing of the "picture with your dead critter" is a little wierd to me, however, being married to an avid hunter for the last 20 years, I know that it is a part of it. You take the pictures and carry them around like you would your firstborn grandchild! My youngest has a color enlargement framed and hanging in his room of one of his best friends and him with their turkeys they shot at the same time while sitting in a blind together. It is a big deal to him so it hangs in his room.

tvc - the guy with the rabbit did not get 30 days for "killing" the rabbit - it was the inhumane treatment of the animal that led to its death that he got the time for.

tolawdjk - if tvc wants to hunt in the state of Kansas and was born after June 30, 1959, he is required to pass a Hunter Safety Class prior to being able to obtain a hunting license. If he was born before that, he would be "grandfathered" in and not have to take the class. There are becoming more & more states all the time that require you to have passed a Hunter Safety Class if you are an out of state hunter - no matter what the age. Personally think that anyone in a house that has any sort of firearm in it (even law enforcement or security) should take a Hunter Safety Class - it is 10 hours out of your life and you learn much more than just Hunter Safety.

stuckinthemiddle 10 years, 5 months ago

I like the contrast between the hula-hoop girl at Wak Fest from a while back and Mary here with her deer...

the Journal World does know how to mix it up...

EXks 10 years, 5 months ago

my granny kept a Bible on her night stand next to her teeth, and kept a loaded shotgun under her bed, for..... you know...... just in case. why that woman could shoot a possum right between the eyes at 500 yards!

FormerCentralKansan 10 years, 5 months ago

I always assume guys who are "into" hunting and guns are lacking in self-esteem. That, or they have a small penis and they are trying to compensate for it by handling a long rifle or powerful handgun. Another group that loves guns are short men who have sawed-off syndrome. Little guys always crack me up. They usually drive big trucks, have big dogs, talk really loud, and act all tough. Once you call them on it, they piss down their leg like a scared dog.

achtung 10 years, 5 months ago

from 500 yards now that's using your physics

berean17 10 years, 5 months ago

You mean that meat doesn't grow in yellow stirofoam or black plastic containers in the back of the local grocery store?

You mean that this same meat came from a living, breathing animal?

...just like vegetables came from a living plant?

But seriously,

It is good to see that this man's family still hunts. Hunting is not a 'sport' for some of us, it is a way to provide GOOD food for our families.

gogoplata 10 years, 5 months ago

FormerCentralKansan, give me a break. Some people enjoy hunting, some shooting, golf, running, etc. Individuals have different intrests. Why not just leave it at that?

gogoplata 10 years, 5 months ago

Oh yea, I forgot to remind you that you shouldn't assume.

hornhunter 10 years, 5 months ago

FormerCentralKansan, Do you own a gun shop also?

stuckinthemiddle 10 years, 5 months ago

75x55 - actually, I just took a look at some of FormerCentralKansan past posts... and they really don't seem like the work of a repetive troll...

as for FormerCentralKansan comments here... I'm still laughing... they are pretty out there...

kujayhawk 10 years, 5 months ago

"Congrats to Mary! I know how I felt when I got my first buck and the sense of accomplishing a goal like shooting a buck is great! The dedication to waking up early, being in the cold, being patient and quiet, is quite amazing for a young lady to achieve."

We've really lowered our expectations for young women.

monkeyspunk 10 years, 5 months ago


Most of the hunters I have known are quiet. It does you no good to be a loud mouth in a blind or tree stand.

I bet these same kids that learn to hunt deer and fowl sit through class quietly, respectfully while your children who play video games for fun and never see the sunshine are so hopped up on their psychotropic drugs that they are deemed "special".

Or wait, is that YOU?

Ragingbear 10 years, 5 months ago

I once saw an absence slip from a local school when I lived in Idaho. The excuse written was "Went hunting with father". This resulted in an excused absence. You see, in Idaho many people would not be able to eat a balanced diet if they did not supplement their stores with a few animals acquired through hunting.

Haiku_Cuckoo 10 years, 5 months ago

I don't hunt but I'd rather see a deer on somebody's dinner table than through my windshield while driving down K10.

ASBESTOS 10 years, 5 months ago

"I say that we round up all of the dirty hippies that live in Lawrence and release them on a game range. I would be first in line to get the hippie license and I know that the line behind me would be very long indeed."

Naw, hippies are probably pretty scrawny and tough, and they have all thos artificial chemicals they use to grow, like LSD, Tetrahydrocanabanol (sp?), petcholli (sp?), and all that incense! The meat would probably not be very marbled, and it would tak about 6 to make a really good meal.

I don't think it would be hunting at all, it would be more like varmiting. Get them from far away so you don't have to smell them.

I don't think that the KDWP could even sell permits, who would want to buy one?

Besides, I don't think you could cook oput the odor or the chemicals, and the meat would not be safe to consume.

Staci Dark Simpson 10 years, 5 months ago

speaking of patchouli, do people actually think it smells good? I think I could smoke some dope, roll in some weeds, and not bathe and smell the same. Hey ....wait a minute As for hunting deer, great source of lean meat. If processed right makes great meat. Darn vagitarians

Toto_the_great 10 years, 5 months ago

I am an environmentalist and a hunter/fisherman. I hate hunter/fisherman who bash environmentalists and vice versa. Both groups ultimately are striving for the same thing: protecting the environment. I respect the fact that people are vegetarians and don't believe in cruelty to animals (unless you don't want to harm animals yet you weather leather: what gives?). I don't like to see animals suffer... which is why deer hunting is need (although I cannot bring myself to shoot fuzzy creatures). With urban expansion, where are the deer going to go? One answer is my windshield (unless if we hunt them). You think I am crazy, look at the statistics: deer-auto collisions are increasing and the numbers are strongly correlated with urbanization. I took a class at KU and was the only hunter/fisherman in there. I was ragged on the entire semester, yet last I knew, I was the only thing doing something about environmental issues. I work to protect non-game critters (what normally most people would call bait). If you protect the "bait fishes" then you will protect the game species and vice versa.... which is why environmentalists need to support game organizations such as Ducks Unlimited (the leader in wetland conservation). You might not agree with their principals, but they are doing something about it and have the political clout to stop morons like G.W. Bush destroying the environment. The argument is circular and both environmentalist and sportsmen need to realize this fact. We need to get on the same page and do what is best for everything/everyone.

riverdrifter 10 years, 5 months ago

Somebody once asked Louis Armstrong something really stupid like "Can you define Jazz?" His response was "If you don't know, I can't tell you." That about sizes it up for me when it comes to hunting. There sure are a lot of canada geese about and 5-7" snow is in the forecast. Let's see: hunter wear white, hide in snow in corn stubble at first light in middle of ~sixty shell decoys. Have Winchester 3.5" shotgun camou white. Have hot coffee with a little Bailey's on hand to ward off chill. Have brown dog out there, she's celebrating the cold and the hunt. Have little penis on hand (not in hand!). Hunt, 'while fat souls sleep'. Hunt.

Toto_the_great 10 years, 5 months ago

FormerCentralKansan - that is pretty funny. Your comment summarizes some of the good ol' boys that I hunt with from my hometown. Then there are the rich JoCo idiots who hunt because they think it is cool. Yet still are the "hippies" who help counter act the above parties. But not every hunter fits your description. One reason I hunt is because I don't like to eat processed meat. It has been about 12 years since I have bought meat from the store... I get my meat from hunting and my family's farm (they don't use wicked chemicals on their cattle). Man, it is easy to get off on a tangent.

HW 10 years, 5 months ago

Congratulations Mary. Great job. It's sounds like your aim is true, which is so important.

My two cents (or five, who knows). On the safety issue, "glassing" with your rifle optics is not the best thing, but not such a horrible thing comparitively. The really unsafe part in the photos is that his finger is on the trigger while he is glassing.

On the issue of environmentalists and hunters, it is true that hunters are some of the biggest environmentalists and conservationists. As a hunter, I don't understand taking a four point buck, unless it is the last day of season and it is all you have seen. Controlling the population is best done by culling the does. One buck can cover as many as 20 does. If you kill a buck, the population is only going to change by one animal. If you kill a doe the population will be changed for many years. Don't get me wrong, if I see a trophy, I am going to take him. But, I will take a doe before a young buck any day. Trophys don't grow overnight, and they won't grow if you take them young. In 15 years of hunting, I have only shot two male animals. One trophy sized antelope, and a cull buck.

To Charlie, sorry for busting your ba!!s. I think it is awesome that you are getting your kid(s) into the sport. It is even more awesome that you are taking a neighbors kid out who may otherwise not get a chance to learn the sport. Keep it up, and good luck in January.

Oracle_of_Rhode 10 years, 5 months ago

"There will come a day when such men as myself will view the slaughter of innocent creatures as horrible a crime as the murder of his fellow man - Our task must to be free ourselves' by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty" -- Albert Einstein

Animals have feelings. They have the same mind as we have, and also want happiness, like we do. For example, if you suddenly touch them, they are immediately frightened. They get frightened if somebody beats or hits them with a stick. We also get frightened. If somebody throws cold water on our body, suddenly we feel a shock. It is the same for animals. They have the same mind, and it is very important what happens to them.

Even if they can't speak, can't express themselves, animals can show their fear through their body. For example, they try to run away. Human beings can talk and complain. They can bring court cases. Human beings can report things to the police. Human beings can do so much, but animals can't. They can do nothing. They can't express their suffering. Human beings can talk about their fears. Whether other people accept your suffering or not, at least you can explain it and the other person can hear. Animals can't, but you can see how they feel from their movements. If someone tries to attacks them, they run away. They are afraid, which means they want happiness and not suffering. This is a very important point, that they have the same mind as us. If you kill them, then you create the negative karma to be like them. For one hundred thousand lifetimes, you will have the karma to be born as an animal. For many thousands of lifetimes, you will suffer the consequences.

It is said in the teachings that if you kill one animal, because of that karma, you will be killed five hundred times by others. You will suffer in very hot hell realm for one thousand eons. It is also good to ask yourself how it would be if somebody killed you with a knife. How would you feel in that situation? --Lama Zopa Rinpoche

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 5 months ago

"It is better to keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you are a fool, than to open your mouth and erase all doubt." -- Mark Twain

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 5 months ago

"If you kill them, then you create the negative karma to be like them. For one hundred thousand lifetimes, you will have the karma to be born as an animal. For many thousands of lifetimes, you will suffer the consequences...You will suffer in very hot hell realm for one thousand eons."

So... I'll live (& die, of course) forever until or unless(?) I become a god? which point I some other test?...or be perfect?...or be part of some bigger god, or the universe, and cease to exist as an individual?...or exist as a god on a planet next to Mitt Romney's World and Grill? Bizarro!~)

We ARE animals. If you choose NOT to be an animal, and attempt to be a GOD of animals, then you are an ARROGANT ANIMAL. We refer to these creatures as The Oracular Orificium. They have a concernment damaged view of how the physical universe works and of the insignificance of their feelings.

"It is also good to ask yourself how it would be if somebody killed you with a knife. How would you feel in that situation?" Um... In pain for a minute or so? Terrified for a few seconds? ...OR... SORRY for the poor ba$t@rd that kills me and has to spend thousands of lifetimes in a hot hell realm for being ignorant and/or arrogant.

That's mighty whitey robed Xtian of you, goddy!

huntershaven 10 years, 5 months ago

I will be blunt. For one organism to live, another must die unless it is at the very bottom of the food chain, such as a plant. For a deer or rabbit to live, for example, it must kill a plant as part of its survival. For vegetarians to live they must also kill another living organism to live. If those same vegetarians buy vegetables or fruits from farms, they support the process by which other lifeforms, wildlife, are displaced and held at bay by the farmers who grow their food.

For every acre put into production to grow food, there are numerous animals that have to be forced from their habitat to make that happen. For that farmer to produce the food after putting it into cultivation they must also do things to prevent wildlife from destroying it, such as using pesticides, traps, fencing or even shooting the offending wildlife.

Even vegetarians and vegans, living in a populated area and eating the most organic and naturally produced fruits and vegetables are supporting the destruction of wildlife habitat through existing on the planet, especially in a concentrated area of humans.

I will be all the more blunt. Hunters at least have the fortitude to go out and take their food from the natural world as close to nature's terms as possible and they do it first hand. Those who think hunters are nutters or cruel to animals yet eat store bought meat are hypocritical as they eat the meat but don't fully understand where it came from.

I hunt because I put myself at the mercy and whim of the natural world and I try to outwit an animal that has substantially more potent senses than I do. I hunt because it is one of the few opportunities that I have to be taught lessons that cannot be taught elsewhere. I hunt because I wish to be humbled by the natural world. I hunt because spending time in the natural world empties my mind of human constructs. I don't hunt because I have an inferiority complex nor lacking in genitalia. I don't hunt to make myself feel more manly. I don't hunt because I like to kill, though death is often a result of the hunt. I hunt because I understand the responsibilities of being both a good steward and cohabitant of this planet. Sometimes thinning out populations of animals is necessary, especially when we humans destroy the habit of those animals.

I cannot change the world, but I can do my best to make what small portion I inhabit better. I do what I can to preserve habitat and when necessary, cull out overpopulations or sickly individual animals. I do it as humanely and quickly as I can.

Agree or disagree, that is up to you. I simply do what I believe is in harmony with what I believe. All I ask is that you can agree to disagree.

lounger 10 years, 5 months ago

I can relate to bonding with your daughter but...shooting an animal is kinda a sick thing to get exited about!!!

Frederic Gutknecht IV 10 years, 5 months ago

NOT that old "It's sick to hunt." BS... Do you really think that this youngster is sick? This type of excitement is natural stuff, lounger. It's fine to feel free to separate yourself from this particular bit of reality but don't call people sick for appreciating a fuller and more natural spectrum of life. I realize that we all sometimes consider ourselves gods, trying to create a kinder, gentler universe...but it always comes off as arrogant when we try to drive evolution really fast down a straight, narrow and paved road.

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