There, in the pre-dawn darkness, two mule deer bucks playfully battled each other no more than 20 feet from my window.

A delightful sight, to be sure.

Until I realized it was the opening day of the state's firearms deer season.

That's when I started wondering when the "drive-by shootings" might start.

Fortunately, there was a lull before the storm, so to speak, and I was able to successfully don my orange-colored coat and head out to the truck for yet another day at the office.

Surprisingly, I didn't see any other deer hunters on the 71βΡ2 mile drive into town.

To be honest, I dread the firearms deer season. It's scary to think of how many people are out there running around with a loaded weapon capable of shooting a bullet a very long distance.

And, to be additionally honest, I've seen some rather disgraceful tactics in use by deer hunters bearing firearms. We all have.

There's other issues that loom as the firearms deer season presses on:

* The specter of even more discoveries of deer infected with chronic wasting disease.

* The dumping of deer in road ditches near and far.

* Feeding, baiting and the use of scents, most notably deer urine, to draw in deer.

Come on folks, you spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars to take up the sport of deer hunting and then you want to sit on your tush and wait for deer to come in to an artificial setting.

That should be outlawed outright.

CWD is going to spread, but bottom line, let's don't help it. In fact, let's fight it.

Now, for you ethical, considerate deer hunters, and there are plenty of them: Good luck, and if you have any pepper sticks made out of your deer, I'm envious. Enjoy.