Harvest 2020

Orlando, Florida. Alternative Reality News – The two men wielded their hunting knives swiftly and efficiently, with practiced movements. “The first time is always the hardest,” said Mick Osceola, the FPC biologist who was accompanying the hunting party, chosen at random as part of the agency’s monitoring operations. “But after that, field-dressing is pretty straightforward. As long as they don’t damage the vital organs, which are needed for medical work throughout the State, we don’t mind how they do it. It’s a question of shooting accurately and then knowing where to cut. Our training courses help with all of that, and we allow hunters several takes to hone their skills, provided that we see positive progress.”

The hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys duly collected and placed in the Medi-Cube™ provided by the State, the hunters allowed themselves a moment to relax before loading their kills – a juvenile male and an adult female, presumably the mother – into their pick-up truck. When asked by an approving bystander what they intended to do with their catch, the two men smiled with obvious pride. “It’s good eating,” said one. “It’s a lot like pork. My freezer is full right now, so I’ll give most of the meat to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. The pension those guys get from the State is nowhere near what they deserve, so I like to help them out when I can. It will all get used.”

Admiring his kill, the other man offered a different response, but one heard throughout the State these past eight weeks: “I’ve had my eye on this one for a long time. She had broken into several homes around here, looking for food. She needed to be taken out. But she’ll make a nice trophy.”

His companion shot him a wry grin. “Yeah, right. And I’m sure you’ve figured out exactly what position she’s going to be in, too….”

Laughing, the hunters exchanged high-fives with Osceola before handing him the Medi-Cube™ and loading their kills onto the bed of their truck. The female’s head hit the tailgate with a dull thud, her long blond hair cascading over the gate, her blue eyes staring lifelessly toward the derelict house from which she and her son had walked out just a short while before.

***

Florida’s second human harvest season has concluded with much less controversy than the first. After the War, the Depression, and the Constitutional Convention that returned domestic sovereignty to the States, Florida’s residents seem to have come to terms with the State’s policy that the human population must be managed, and that regulated hunting is the only proven way to accomplish this objective. With so many people homeless and unable to sustain themselves without resorting to crime (the State obviously unable to support them), the Hays Act – the State statute that called for the hunting of indigent humans and protected the right to hunt – passed both Houses of the Legislature in 2019, becoming the supreme law of the State despite the objections of the minority Humane Party leader, Kate McPhee.

In a January 20th press conference at Forever Hall, the Tallahassee headquarters of the Florida Property Conservation Commission (FPC), Executive Director Nigel Wilson and his department heads summarized the results of the season, and expressed their satisfaction with its evolution since the previous year.

Homeless in Orlando

Homeless humans in Orlando, Florida.

“Florida has a large, growing, and resilient population of indigent humans,” Wilson explained. “Rigorous demographic updates showed that the indigent population had exceeded five million. We took a conservative approach to the harvest, setting a science-based quota of 500,000 people, to attain an overall mortality rate of 20% in conjunction with background causes of mortality. This is the minimum mortality rate required to offset reproduction and immigration. Numerous studies prove that human populations in a wide variety of habitats can sustain much higher rates of harvest. Although we came in just under quota, with 479,801 taken, we are very pleased with the way this limited harvest went. We have a great hunting community in our State, and there were very few infractions. As the press reported in December, we did have one case where two children were taken within 100 yards of a convenience store, but our Law Enforcement Division has dealt with that hunter in accordance with the law. He will have to sit out the next season.”

Wilson went on to detail how the revenue raised from the Organs for Life program helps fund the State’s management efforts. “Many of Florida’s Owners are suffering from organ failure, especially kidney disease, due to the fracking chemicals that entered the Floridan Aquifer before and during the War. The organs collected by our hunters can be sold for as much as $3,500 each, depending on condition. At this point – we haven’t quite completed the data analysis yet – we estimate that this year’s harvest raised at least $376.9 million from organ sales alone. Much of this revenue will be distributed to the counties so they can continue their sterilization efforts and help homeowners secure their houses to discourage the indigent from breaking in. And then we have another $5 million from the sale of hunting permits – money that will help pay for hunter outreach and training programs across our great State.”

Deedee Eagleton, Director of Hunting and Game Management, related the results of hunter satisfaction surveys. “We’ve always aimed to provide rewarding hunting opportunities in Florida. After the decline in traditional game species due to The Hunger, we recognized the potential of a human harvest season, offering hunters the thrills portrayed in the Oscar-winning movie, American Sniper. Of course, many of our hunters served in the War, and we are grateful to them for helping us in our training efforts. Although our hunters already had well-developed skill-sets, the coaching provided by our veterans in target acquisition and psychological conditioning has been invaluable. Thanks to them, the transition from hunting large animals to hunting humans has been a very smooth one. Our hunters are strongly motivated to help us protect and preserve an environment that is safe for Florida’s Owners, and the feedback we’ve had from hunters helps us to improve the hunt every year. For example, hunters expressed strong support for our expansion of the range of harvest methods this season, and we had a terrific response to our offer of permits to foreign tourists, which brought a great deal of revenue into the State.”

As usual, media representatives from around the globe were most interested in the comments of Dr. Timothy Eastman, Director of Habitat and Property Conservation, whose testimony in the 2019 emergency injunction hearing proved pivotal in persuading the court that the harvest should proceed.

A limited hunting season is just one part of our overall Human Management Plan. We gave very careful consideration to habitat modification as a possible management technique. Obviously, it had a proven track record in Indochina, Yugoslavia, and Iraq, to name just a few places were American foreign policy deliberately degraded civilian infrastructure and support systems. But the goal of the Plan is to maintain a healthy, sustainable population of indigent humans, in suitable habitats, for the benefit of the indigent and Owners. Widespread property damage would frustrate the attainment of our goals. We needed a more carefully regulated approach, to ensure that the First Amendment, respecting the sanctity of private property, would not be infringed.

The experience of the other States with large indigent human populations demonstrated that a limited hunting season was the only way to prevent these sub-populations from dispersing everywhere and threatening the personal safety of Owners or damaging their property. But we will continue to devote agency resources to other management initiatives, including Open Carry, Spay-and-Release, and our Human-Smart Communities program, which organizes volunteers into Public-Safety Committees at the local level. And, of course, FPC human-response personnel will remain available to Owners making nuisance complaints throughout the year.

When the Commission first ordered staff to develop a hunting plan, we followed the template laid out in the Management Plan. The War and the Depression certainly reduced the biological carrying capacity of the State, although it’s not clear that the human population has exceeded biological carrying capacity in all seven of the Human Management Units. However, it was clear that social carrying capacity had been exceeded in four of the Management Units. Reports of crime and nuisance calls skyrocketed as more and more people fell out of the ranks of Owners and became a burden on society. There was a clear consensus among the Owners that something had to be done. We have a constitutional responsibility to protect the environment that supports all our wonderful forms of property.

Sand-Creek-Massacre-National-Historic-Area-Colorado

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Area in Colorado, commemorating one of the most brutal episodes in the “winning” of the American West.

In response to a question from a BBC correspondent who wondered if the human casualties could be squared with American values, Director Wilson drew a direct line between America’s past and its present. “What we’re doing in Florida is entirely consistent with America’s most fundamental values. The killing of undesirable or excess human sub-populations has been part of our national policy from the very beginning. Native Americans across the continent were wiped out, through biological, economic, and physical control policies. Millions were killed in North Korea and Indochina from massive bombing campaigns, chemical and biological weapons, and – as Dr. Eastman noted before – the destruction of civilian infrastructure. More recently, our economic sanctions regime between the Gulf War and the Iraq War killed a million people, half of whom were children. The Iraq War itself killed a further million people. None of this was the slightest bit controversial among America’s Owners. All of these deaths were worth it. In a very real sense, our hunters represent the essence of America – the best of America. They embody and preserve the values that made America the great country it is.”

When a Swiss correspondent contended that the Geneva Conventions had outlawed such large-scale killing, Wilson was quick to point out that the Constitutional Convention of 2017 had explicitly rejected the applicability of any foreign laws over American territory, while the North American Corporate Capital Compact positively affirmed the right of the United States to protect its property interests across the globe. Seemingly undeterred, the correspondent continued to argue that the killing of the parents of young children was immoral and inhumane. At this point, Wilson seemed happy to allow Dr. Eastman to wrap up the press conference:

Numerous studies have shown that children as young as seven can survive on their own. The hunt’s rules encourage the targeting of adults in their late twenties and early thirties, because they are more likely to have children that can survive. Younger adults may have very young children that will not survive, and while we do not fine hunters for taking parents of that age, we do train them in recognition to minimize this. Similarly, the taking of teenage children is allowed, because the parents are less likely to reproduce again at an older age. We’re looking for a balance between population control and social acceptance for the policy, and we think we’ve struck the right one. We understand that the death of these humans can be upsetting for some of our seniors who remember the old Bill of Rights, but we have a responsibility to manage the population in accordance with our Owners’ values.

***

Outside Forever Hall, the FPC’s official comments have been echoed across the State by hunting groups and many prominent community figures. Enrique Hernandez, the FPC’s first Hall of Fame inductee and a professional hunting guide, saluted Eagleton for broadening the methods of take. “Hunting with dogs is part of our heritage. Our ancestors used dogs to track runaway slaves and other criminals. It’s a very clean way of hunting, because when the dogs have the human trapped, we can finish it off at short range with total accuracy, no risk of organ damage, and make sure we’re within the acceptable age and weight limits. But, apart from that, there’s nothing like watching your dogs run down these vermin. It’s a great feeling of connection with the dogs – something man has done for thousands of years. It’s really been great to bring our kids out with us, get them away from their Playstations™, and teach them our traditions. The leg traps have been good, too. Driving them toward the traps takes real skill and is very rewarding for those who master it.”

Indigent ChildRussell Solomon, editor of the Leesburg Owners’ Gazette and a long-time opponent of public welfare programs, emphasized the danger posed by property-less humans: “These people have no skin in the game – no stake in society. The Framers created this great nation to allow people to accumulate property, not to allow them to mooch off the hard work of others. The human hunting season was needed long before the War or the Depression, and the results prove that. All those conservation programs we had before the War – Food Stamps, Social Security, Medicaid – were totally counter-productive, rewarding these people for being useless. Once the War made America’s debt burden impossible and crashed the economy, we found ourselves having to manage a sub-population we never should have had. In a way, the Depression has been a blessing in disguise, and this time our country didn’t repeat the mistakes of the 1930s. Property rights are much more secure now than they were before the Depression, taxes have come down, and the quality of life has definitely improved.”

Gesturing at the protesters clustered in the secure area, Solomon poured scorn on the few remaining dissenters. “These people don’t know what they’re talking about. ‘Ooooh! Don’t kill the little children! They could be Owners one day!’ Who are they kidding? These excess humans are never going to own property. They will always be thieves, muggers, and carriers of disease. Why should society waste any of the taxpayers’ money on them? Education, healthcare, housing, sanitation – these things aren’t rights; they are privileges that must be earned! But at least these people can contribute some value to society by donating their organs. The hunt is a win-win situation.”

Nonetheless, a small minority of dissenters lingered on long after the press conference was over, getting their money’s worth out of their Speech Passes™ by waving signs with slogans like, “People Over Property” and “Don’t Kill My Mom.” Surrounded by the FPC’s Law Enforcement officers, they were isolated in every sense, jeered and spat at by several passers-by.

***

Along Orlando’s South Orange Blossom Trail, we were shown the latest attraction in “The City Beautiful” by Florida veteran and hunter Dave Marriott, who took us for a drive in his new Sportsman Predator™. “It reminds me a lot of Hanoi or Jakarta,” he said, looking at the children along the sidewalk, vying to attract the attention of passing motorists. “Now that the season has ended and they’re not hiding anymore, the girls sell themselves for as little as a dollar, desperate to make some money for food. Many times their older brothers will pimp them out, trying to keep them away from the guys who will use them for training their dogs and dump what’s left of their bodies when they’re done. You can get a whole van-load of girls – or boys, if that’s your thing – for South Orange Blossom Trailless than ten bucks at this time of year. This is how the orphans survive. If you want an adult, I can take you to Winter Park later on tonight. The cleanest ones hang around by the fancy restaurants over there, dreaming of being someone’s mistress. It’s their only chance of making it back into society, like Pretty Woman, you know?”

Just ahead of us, two young girls, about twelve years of age, climbed into the passenger seat of a shiny SUV. “That one has Freedom Plates,” Marriott observed. “Even the police can’t trace the Owner. But most of these cars are rentals. Since Bangkok is not safe for Americans or Europeans now, with the War and all, Orlando has kind of picked up the slack. Technically, prostitution is illegal, but the police generally look the other way. If the kids can make money turning tricks, they’re not breaking and entering. Besides, the City and the State need the sales tax revenue from all the tourists.”

Marriott was quiet for the rest of our ride, until he returned us to our hotel. “I hope you can see what the FPC is talking about. That’s no way for people to live. These conditions are not suitable. That’s why I’m happy to pay $100 for my hunting permit every year. We’re really doing these people a favor – saving them from starving to death or being cut up in a turf war. I’ve been real busy at work, so I only had time to kill 55 this season, but each and every one of them is in a better place now. I sleep good at night knowing that.”

As we bid our guide farewell, he invites us to return. “Y’all come back next fall. For less than the price of a ticket to War World™ you can experience the real Florida. I have plenty of equipment you can borrow. If you’re worried about someone back home finding out about it, don’t be. I have a hunter endorsement on my driver’s license so the police won’t ticket me during the season, and most of my buddies know what I do, but that’s my choice. Otherwise, permit sales are strictly confidential and it’s a first-degree felony to photograph a hunter or impede him in any way. The FPC has totally got our back.”

As we left Orlando the following day, it became clear that Marriott was not the only one unafraid of being associated with the hunting of humans. In the airport lobby, the FPC’s official merchandise was displayed prominently by several vendors, and seemed to be a hot seller. A group of British tourists – always conspicuous, with their pale skin – used the privacy of the men’s room to peel off their familiar soccer jerseys and change into their new souvenir shirts, bright hunter orange, emblazoned with crosshairs and a slogan befitting a rock concert, Harvest 2020.

***

1 Comments

  1. DeeAnne Patterson

    Thank you so much for writing this gorgeous piece of work! I wish I had the imagination to write something like this essay. I was one of the people that stood at the weigh stations and recorded what was going on for the major group against the bear hunt. It was mind blowing and numbing to see the hunters, FWC officers, and bystanders thrilled with their kills and just admiring one another for their slaughtered bears. 
    Your essay is just amazing and has me for a loss of words. I hope it reaches a lot of people that don’t know about the hunt or were maybe on the fence about it. You completely switched the world’s view on us as a reader. You truly have an innate talent. Keep doing what you’re doing!

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