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Mourning my deer

Posted: Thursday, Sep 27th, 2012

From spots to spikes, velvet to horn, our yards were graced by the majestic beauty of a small herd of gentle bucks, does and fawns. We were awed by their presence as they grazed our green lawns and nibbled on our willows. Sheltered from the cold fall winds, they rubbed their velvet off on our bushes and wintered and gave birth in the willows on Old Lake Road, below the brow of the hill.

Gazing fearlessly at us as we worked in the yard or watched them as we drank our morning coffee on the back porch, we were co-inhabitants of this small piece of earth. They ate the blossoms from our flowerpots, startled us when we went out before dawn and were often on the road at night between the cemetery and the top of the hill. It was a blessing we treasured, an immeasurable gift that can never be replaced, having grown from the earth we both shared.

I still cannot grasp their senseless slaughter and our loss. Every morning before I make my coffee I still look out my back window for my gentle and treasured friends … and then I remember. I grieve the loss.

Thomas Drago, of North Carolina, was convicted of poaching four antlered deer and one doe in the Favazzo and Carmichael Hill subdivisions and trespassing on private property. He took antlers, heads and backstraps and left the carcasses to rot in the subdivision.

“During his short stay in Wyoming Mr. Drago engaged in a mule-deer killing spree,” Deputy County Attorney Clayton Kainer.

I realize that justice has been meted and Judge Haws showed more mercy than I would have. As a victim of this unimaginable crime I would not have been so lenient. Criminal Thomas Drago, you have changed our lives forever, robbing us of the joys and pleasures we enjoyed here, in our homes and yards. Rather than worrying about teaching your young son to fish our waters, your time would be better spent teaching him respect for the land and its inhabitants, both man and beast and this community who welcomed you as a guest. Go back to where you came from. You are not welcome here. n

Linda Pouttu Schumacher, Pinedale

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