Monday, November 15, 2010

Notes from Deer Camp

Never been too afraid of getting up early. I’ve recently discovered coffee, and before that I found naps, so even though I’m not a morning person per se, I can deal with them.  Still, it was a new experience this weekend when I found myself sitting in a tree in a driving snowstorm at about six thirty with a gun in my hand.  The idea was that if I saw one of those creatures in a buckskin coat, maybe with those little horn things, I was to shoot at it before it noticed my presence.  Deer hunting.
            It turns out there is a lot of quiet when you’re waiting for deer, and I found myself silently taking comfort in the loudest rap songs I knew, from Run DMC to Public Enemy to Snoop and Dre’s “The Next Episode.”  And then I was singing Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” (which should be made into a rap).  I wanted to say it was the bravado of that genre which was helping me deal with the doomsday-y-ness of the whole situation, but I think it might have been the shooting themes that would help me pull the trigger on a helpless creature. 
Sitting there with that gun in my hand, it kind of felt like I was a character in Smash Brothers- say, Kirby- who had stumbled upon the hammer, and the music started playing and nobody knew what was going to happen.  So I realized I would have to draw on my other, albeit minimal, video game experience in order to succeed.  The obvious one is, of course, Oregon Trail.
Now that I think of it, we often played that game in school in Computer class because it had an early form of IM-ing, and we just wanted to do that. But the next best part of it was shooting things when you got a chance to hunt.  If you went for Bison, they were easier to kill and you got more meat.  So why even go for anything else?  Squirrels were impossible to kill.  Anyway, if I’m a banker (as we all were) and I’m going out west, I don’t know how to hunt. I’ll just buy all the food I need.
(The follow-up game, Yukon Trail, might have been just as fun, if not more fun, because there was a lot more to it as far as the journey went, but there was less shooting.  One time on the way up to Canada I had to wait out a snowstorm that lasted a year or something- ridiculous!)
But this deer hunting was just an awesome idea for several reasons.  If I got one, it would totally make up for my losing to a girl in Big Buck Hunter at the bar earlier this year.  Yea, she was cute, but I wasn’t really actively pursuing her.  And even though I did beat another girl in a shooting game last weekend on the Wii at my friend’s friend’s house in River Falls, I didn’t feel good about that.  (Or did I…?)
The next reason is that I would get to go down before field-dressing it and text a picture to my friend Ryan, who’s a Milwaukee Bucks fan, with a message that said “Fear the Deer? I don’t.”  Finally, it was just kind of fun sitting up in the tree, which was peaceful, but which I don’t think I would do if I my goal wasn’t to snuff out the life of Bambi’s mom with my Thunderstick.
I had gone duck hunting with my dad earlier this fall, and I felt that was kind of like sky-fishing.  That being the case, I think deer hunting is the land equivalent of deep-sea fishing.  Commercial Fishing, that is.  Like with the Andrea Gail in The Perfect Storm.
Although, admittedly the weather did improve on Sunday morning, I still didn’t see a single deer.  Or a guy in a tuxedo eating leaves in the forest pretending to be a deer so that you buy higher-end car insurance. But I did essentially figure out all the problems of the four major sports and how to solve them.  That blog post should be coming out later.

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