An Amish hunter recently used his crossbow to kill the second largest buck ever taken in the state of Ohio, according to a newspaper story published on December 12. He took the animal on September 30, the opening day of bow hunting season, from his tree stand in the woods behind his house in Adams County.
On Saturday, December 9, a state wildlife officer drove Jonathan Schmucker and the mounted antlers of his huge buck to the Ohio Division of Wildlife office in Xenia in order to display the trophy and give the public an opportunity to talk with him. The photo accompanying the story shows the rack displayed on a wall with a wildlife official standing next to it. Most buck hunters would be envious of the giant trophy with its forest of tines.
The newspaper reporter described Schmucker as an “outgoing and friendly Amish man” who was “proud of his hunting achievement and was glad to share his story.” The 32 year old Amish man described how, for three years, he was aware of the unusually large buck in the nearby woods. He described for the press the events of the afternoon when he managed to get his lucky shot.
A father of four children and a carpenter by trade, Schmucker also processes deer for other hunters during the fall hunting seasons. He has butchered about 100 deer so far this fall. He admitted to the newspaper reporter that he is enjoying the attention he is getting from his trophy. The article recites, for the benefit of hunting aficionados, the points the rack receives under different scoring systems for very large, trophy antlers.
This very normal, rural American, late autumn news account is of interest primarily because there are a few differences from most hunting stories. The photo included with almost all such articles in small town newspapers and hunting magazines normally includes the hunter with his or her trophy, but since the Amish generally do not permit photos of themselves, the wildlife official was substituted.
Also, although many people are aware of the Amish practice of nonviolence, they may be unaware that they also really enjoy taking deer on the fringes of their farms or on other lands open to hunters. Like many other such peaceful societies, they find no conflict between hunting and their beliefs in nonresistance.