Tuesday, October 13, 2009

How Not to Shoot a Deer

The day before I drove about the country and found where the deer would most likely be. There were deer highway and toilets laid out over this part of the mountain. Little deer bars and special shops for deer to buy presents for loved ones. There was even a little pull out for a hunter to park his truck before he walked up the quiet sandy trail to just the best little deer hunter spot to watch the deer coming home from their favourite watering hole. There was a perfect little rifle rest in a thicket of trees on a little hillock and deer obviously would be waiting just there below to frollic into a deer hunter's sights. I thought about that spot all night. Dreamed of it even.
The next day I filled the truck with gas before dawn and poured a to go vente (really big) size coffee with those tasty little sweet caramel coffee creamers which are okay for real men to add to their coffee only if they're carrying a gun and dressed in camo. Mmmmm. Tasted so good.
I drove my truck up the highway to the turn off to the logging trail which headed the 30 miles backwoods to where the deer were already congregating.
Out of nowhere, off script, in complete disregard for my coffee, a buck bounded across the road in front of my truck. I slammed on my brakes to avoid killing him innappropriately, spilt my coffee, put the gear in park, opened the truck door and then couldn't get my rifle out because the the 30 30 deer rifle strap had got all tangled with the 22 grouse rifle strap. When I finally had the rifle free, I couldn't find the 30 - 30 ammo in the ammo bag because I'd stuck my hat and gloves and all this other shit on top of it.
Meanwhile the deer was still waiting for me. Maybe I was the first hunter he'd ever seen or maybe he couldn't believe what he was seeing. A real life episode of a deer's idea of Cheech and Chong's Stupid and Stupider with Moe starring. 50 yards away standing sideways in some trees he stared at me. I was fumbling, dropping bullets while trying to load the rifle. The deer was taking a long time to get even a little suspicious. Seeing me raising the rifle he looked around to see if there was anyone else out here but him. He was definitely beginning to think this guy maybe didn't stop for a friendly mano a mano chat.
I had the rifle up to my shoulder, sighted the heart broad side and pulled the trigger but it didn't move. Nothing happened. I lowered the rifle, looking at the mechanism and sure enough the safety was on. I took off the safety off , raised the rifle again and not having been given the time to finish my coffee, asked myself this time, 'Are you sure you saw horns?" I looked up from the heart, confirmed horns though the tree branches made this task take another couple of seconds, sighted back on heart. Deer still broadside. Squeezed trigger.
The deer moved. Even as I was squeezing the trigger and hearing the shot fire I was watching the deer do a dirty little deer trick turning to face me full on like some sort of deer matador faced with my bull. The bullet passed this Matrix deer's shoulder by a hair breadth. I levering in a second shot even as the deer continued it's turn 180 degrees, bounding away into the depth of the forest supercharged. I ran after him. No blood and the deer a few counties away hopping a train already, booking a new identity with some undercover deer associates. and probably already arrranging plastic surgery to change it's looks. Maybe even thinking about having his horns removed. A bullet coming that close to a deer can do weird things to a his mind. Change his whole world view. Make him ask why a Creator would make some animals vegetarians while making others carnivores.
I went back to the truck. Shot a grouse later in the day. Didn't do anything for me. I couldn't get that deer out of my mind. The one that got away.
Tried to figure out what I could learn from the experience. Figured a government that cared would allow hunters to have heat seeking deer missiles for back up when a rifle just didn't do what a rifle was supposed to do. Thought about how crafty some deer can be. Screw Bambi and Bambi's mother. Deer can be really treacherous. Thought about eating deer liver. Shot another grouse. Didn't do anything for me. Thought about the deer. Worried others might run into this sort. Thought I'd best tell people to expect deer where they aren't supposed to be. Later drove up to where I figured they were supposed to be and they'd moved. Not a deer there. No fresh scat either. Figured deer had taken up scouping for each other.
Asked by other hunters if I'd seen any deer I answered, "Nah, nothing, no, have you?" They knew I was lying. It was in my eyes.
I got tired of lying. Decided to write this article instead. Finally figured it must have been the caramel coffee creamer. Maybe I'd help my fellow man and contribute to world peace or something by telling other hunters to beware of that shit. Drink that sweet caramel coffee creamer even dressed in cammo and carrying a gun could make you miss a deer standing 50 yards away broadside. I'd also let some of the new guys know that just because those deer targets don't move these live bastards can. They can jump a mile high and hit Mach II running a whole lot faster than a guy like me can curse himself.

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