Deer & Deer Hunting

THE SCIENCE OF RUMINATION

I am often asked by my non-hunting acquaintances, “What can be so enamoring about sitting out in the woods through all kinds of adverse conditions just for an opportunity to shoot a deer?” They become even more perplexed when I explain to them that for the overwhelming majority of outings, I return home with an empty truck bed. What they cannot understand is — for us hunters — the kill is only a part of the overall experience. At the risk of sounding cliché, time spent afield is incredibly rewarding whether or not you have game in the bag at the end of the day.

Observing nature, in all its complex and intricate wonder, spawns a host of emotions from awe and exhilaration to peace and humility. Spend enough time in the woods and you will acquire an appreciation for God’s creation. Each species has their own unique physiological traits that allow them to adapt and survive in a particular habitat.

White-tailed deer have many such traits, and one of the most fascinating is their digestive system. Deer are classified as a ruminant animal. Being a ruminant, it is often said that they have four stomachs, but a more accurate

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