Andrew Sullivan —  Dec 14 2012 @ 8:56am

Tim Heffernan pens a great little piece on the "deer paradox":

One: more white-tailed deer live in the United States today than at any other time in history. Two: fewer hunters are going after them than did even 20 years ago. And yet, three: deer hunting now rivals military combat in its technological sophistication. Outfitters’ shelves are crammed with advanced electronics, weaponry, chemicals, and camouflage, all designed to eliminate every last shred of chance from the pursuit. The average American hunter now spends nearly $2,500 a year on the sport, despite the fact that finding a deer to kill has literally never been easier.

A brief tour of the "advanced hunting arsenal" in Cabela's, the outdoor mega-store:

The chemical-weapons aisle alone boasts such products as Dead Down Wind ScentPrevent e3 Field Spray ("Prevents human odors from forming"), Team Fitzgerald Deer Dander Attractant ("Makes you smell like the deer you pursue"), and Wildlife Research Center Special Golden Estrus—that’s bottled urine, "taken right from does brought into heat early through the use of hormones and lighting conditions." Autonomous, infrared-triggered trail cameras such as the Reconyx Hyperfire HC500 help with surveillance. Target-acquisition systems include the Leupold RX?1000i TBR Compact Digital Laser Rangefinder With DNA, and ATN Aries MK?410 Spartan Nightvision Riflescope, which promises "resolution beyond current military standards."

Recent Dish on the rise of liberal urban hunters here.