Kickass and Mackenzie pheasants

Kickass, the doorstop dog, napped at home as the keeper and Phyllis spent the waning hours of the 2021 deer hunting season hiking a trail at the MacKenzie Outdoor Education Center near Poynette where a sign displays the famous Aldo Leopold quote about some people needing wild things.

Just how the state assists in facilitating that “need,” might be called into question with the acres of pheasant rearing pens adjoining the MacKenzie Center.  The long-standing state program of raising thousands of pheasants for release on public hunting areas where they are shot by hunters is just one of the ways in which hunting is propped up by artificial means to retain the humans-as-predators identity in modern society.

There may be a glaring conflict in the state’s side-by-side operation of an artificial pheasant killing program and an opportunity for thousands of school kids to have an over-night outdoor enrichment adventure, but that is where things are: which moves the keeper to note that while the pheasant project has pretty much stayed the same since way back in his outdoor writer days when the only Mackenzie education opportunity was a small pathetic zoo long since eliminated, and, by contrast, the Education Center has grown to become an outstanding outdoor experience opportunity not only for school kids but also the public at large.

There is that “need!”  Get ye to the Mackenzie, the keeper suggests.

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