Thursday, October 29, 2015

Genetically Modified

Recently I took a trip to Peru, IN.  It was an adventure that took me in a direction I hadn't been before.  An invitation was extended to me, by a new acquaintance I made, to attend the ACHA World Cup.  It sounded very sophisticated and well, different for me.  So I loaded up and headed north.  Little did I know that just across the road from the World Cup was one of the biggest X-Factor White Tail Deer Farms.  It's kind of a scary, sci-fi name for sweet little deer, but "little" is not the word that would come to mind when you see what is grown here.  These bucks are genetically engineered in such a way that the racks they sport sometimes need to be pruned.  Antlers grow so large that even the mighty neck of the X-Factor buck cannot hold them up.  A visual popped into my head when I heard this bit of info. I imagined deer moping around with the heads hung low dragging their 8 to 10 points racks along the ground.   Some of the antlers I saw laying about in boxes in the garage and workshop area of the employees are comparable to moose antlers.

The bucks aren't too easy to find but the of X Factor does are plentiful.  They are pretty normal too.  They look fragile, docile and of course, doe-eyed.  I was there on the day they were forcing the girls into heat.  This is a hard to explain, but if you are not agriculturally and husbandry educated, it is a typical procedure.

The kindness of the owner and employees of the farm carted me and my friend around to areas where we could get a glimpse of the big 'uns.  Hidden among the shadows of trees and deep in the under brush we could see the points.  We had to look very closely because the bucks are camouflaged so well.  Once they rise to check us out and before they bound away, we are given a breath stopping, heart pounding view of these animals so large they are just plain unnatural.  Prehistoric came to mind.  And once I started to pondering, I realized that all the fencing I had been wandering around that day was like Jurassic Park.  I was excited in a nervous kind of way.  I love the adrenaline and the weirdness and danger it provoked in me.  Now what these deer are worth for hunting is another story altogether.  Money is not as important as time and space, lets just say.

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