November is the opening of rifle season or something like that here in Missouri. As such, several of my friends have already bagged their trophy buck, or the first tiny deer they saw at least, and posted pictures of their haul on Facebook. It certainly doesn’t offend me to see white-tailed deer mothers and babies strapped to the back of four-wheel, souped up golf cart, motorcycle looking contraptions that probably cost $10,000, but it does make me chuckle.
The photos remind me of comedian Ron White’s bit about his cousin Ray who apparently thought killing a deer was magic in the forest. You remember the one; Ron was unimpressed with cousin Ray and mentioned that he, Ron, had once killed a deer with a van going 55 miles an hour with the headlights on and the fuckin’ horn bloooowin’! Ooh, that’s an elusive little creature! Ha, pretty funny stuff! I empathize with Ron White, as driving westbound on I-44 in my neck of the woods can sometimes be a hairy proposition come deer season. For about a 10 mile stretch of travel, it’s a goddam slaughterhouse floor of deer carcasses and bloody entrails all along the highway. It’s every other day, if not everyday, that a deer gets obliterated by a motorist.
I see them a lot, especially late at night when I’m coming home from work. Their beady, glowing eyes on the side of the highway just watching and waiting. “Stay there you stupid fuck; I see you!!”, I think to myself as I warily drive past in the fast lane, farthest from the woods. I’ve been lucky thus far. I’ve not had the misfortune of whacking one with my car. I think they sense when a driver sees them and prefer to run all kamikaze in front of a completely oblivious passerby instead of someone who’s seen them and might be able to avoid the collision. They can’t possibly be as stupid as cliff jumping lemmings, and that makes me wonder if they’re running into traffic on purpose. The highway has been there for all of their lives and it’s not like they’re running onto the highway because wild dogs or lions are chasing them. I imagine that deer season is very stressful for deer and in some form or other, older deer must be able to communicate to younger deer just what is going on. “Hey, little man, you see these empty camouflage and orange Busch Beer cans? The men who drank these are fixin’ to find us and put a bullet in our heads to make sausage out of us!” Yikes! Deer don’t have access to tall buildings, and they have no trigger finger to speak of to blow their own brains out, so running in front of a fast-moving truck isn’t a terrible option for a suicidal deer.
Back to hunters. I don’t hunt. I don’t hunt for the same reason I don’t do home improvement projects around my house, because my dad never showed me how to do either. His dad never introduced him to hunting and there’s a whole line of non hunting DOAT men before him I’m sure. Presumably, grandpa didn’t hunt because when he came over on the boat from Italy there were markets selling meat in his neighborhood that was just delicious, and there was no need to go hunting. I would guess that most hunters are into it because
their own paw dun took em out to hunt when they was yungins. Well, mine wasn’t into it and I never did get myself into it. I did, however, enjoy going to JCPenney with my mom. Sometimes she would buy me army style camouflage clothes. Playing army in those clothes was sweet, and essentially, that’s some of what hunting offers. Hunting also seems to offer many other things that I enjoy as well. I like to be outside, especially around a fire. If there’s outdoor drinking and outside peeing involved, even better! Plus, few hunters bring their wife and kids with them, so there is that as well! And it’s all done while wearing silly camouflage outfits, just like when I was a kid.
At this point in my life though, I mostly don’t hunt because I’m fairly certain that if I asked my wife if I could go spend a few hundred dollars on some hunting gear and leave her and the three kids for a week or so that she’d clasp my balls in her hand and start squeezing before I got the word please out of my mouth and threaten to crush them completely, if I finished the very sentence I had started.
Though I don’t hunt, I do enjoy hearing the stories about the hunt from these mighty suburban hunters. I listen intently, mouth agape and can only imagine myself having to sit quietly in a deer stand that I purchased from Cabella’s for many hours in my warm, electric socks, waiting with a thermos of hot coffee and an 18 pack of beer for a deer to approach the area around my tree that’s been baited with feed for months prior, until the moment I could line them up in my uber telescopic lens equipped rifle and blow its freakin’ head off! They often say it’s very challenging to be out there hunting deer, it takes patience and skill.
Really, Cletus? Look, I enjoy deer sausage and I have no problem with hunting or hunters, other than to hear them talk about what a challenging, skill requiring thrill it is to hunt deer. While I’m sure it’s thrilling to get out of the house, I’ve almost fucking literally bumped into deer while jogging on trails. I’m lucky to run a mile in under 11 minutes, so don’t tell me hunting is a real challenge. You’re not an 1700’s Indian, hunting to survive. There are deer in people’s’ yards in parts of suburbia that could literally be shot through a bathroom window while a man was taking a shit on his toilet. There are almost no other predators, so the deer are super abundant and everywhere! You aren’t hunting an elusive, endangered creature for God’s sake. They’re huge compared to other animals indigenous to this area. It’d be almost as difficult for me to go domestic dog hunting in my suburban neighborhood as it is to hunt for deer with a rifle in Missouri. If you get through rifle season in Missouri without having shot and killed a deer, you should be ashamed of yourself. You are a failure as a man and you should have your very own balls removed and hung from the bumper of your overpriced pickup truck.
Aside from the fact that deer are everywhere, there is very little work that goes into hunting anymore. Once the already manufactured deer stand is in place, the most difficult part of hunting is making sure you don’t drink so much beer that you fall out of the stand and break your neck. Otherwise, what’s it entail? Sitting in a tree and waiting for a deer to come by? If you jumped from the stand and plunged a knife into the beast’s throat and wrestled it to the ground, I’d be impressed with that. Hell, if you shot it with a bow and arrow, I’d be impressed, even with a five-hundred dollar compound bow or whatever they’re called. But to shoot a deer from a stand with a rifle equipped with a kickass scope isn’t as challenging and skillful as I think many hunters want us to believe.
Even the weather has pussified deer hunting. With global warming keeping freezing temperatures at bay these days, who wouldn’t want to sit outside with their own thoughts for a few days in November before the hustle and bustle of the holidays is upon us? And once you do kill the deer, who is skinning and taking the meat off that bad boy? What, you’re taking it to a butcher and paying to have it done? What the fuck is that?? The least you could do after killing this animal is have to drag or carry it like a man back to a camp, hang it by its hind legs and skin that prick yourself! But today’s hunter doesn’t even do the dragging or carrying. The deer is strapped to the aforementioned four-wheel, golf cart looking device and driven wherever, with no effort, to be relieved of its meat.
So, while I love me some deer sausage and appreciate that hunters are keeping the deer population in check, you’ll pardon me if I chuckle a little bit when you tell your wife what a challenge it was and how manly you are to be able to put meat on her table.
She had your kids alone all week while you were out in the woods. I’m pretty sure her week was the challenging one.