Well, it’s autumn. That time of year when the breeze gets brisk, the leaves start to fall, and good men from all walks of life wear something besides blue, brown, grey, and black: they wear orange. Hunter orange. Yes this is the time of year when good men from all walks of life go into the forest to perform that masculine bloodwinner ritual involving beer, bullets, and Bubba. I don’t understand hunting. I don’t understand the desire to kill.
‘Oh no,’ the hunters say, ‘it’s not that, it’s the excitement, it’s the thrill of stalking an animal that’s big and wild, and can tear you apart!’ Yeah right. Like Bambi’s cousin is going to tear you apart.
‘And it’s the challenge! Deer are smart, you know!’ I’d say the average deer has an IQ of what, four? So I have to ask, smart compared to who?
The challenge. Give me a break. You hunt in a group, so already it’s what, six against one? And you use dogs, and ATVs, you even use helicopters, to scare the animals out of the bush. And then you’ve got some geezer sittin’ in a truck parked at the side of the road just waiting to pick off the first fear-frenzied creature that runs across. Oh, the challenge. (Then again, since he’s probably been chugging brew all afternoon, I guess that would be a challenge.)
‘It’s not just all that – we like the meat.’ Then why don’t you go to a deer farm and just shoot one that’s out grazing in the field? (Or a cow farm. Hey, I know! Get a job in a slaughterhouse!)
‘Cuz it’s gotta be wild.’ Okay, how about a skunk?
Ah, but it’s gotta be big and wild. Well, this ‘bigger is better’ thing is completely illogical. Anyone can shoot a moose that’s just standing there. If you really want to brag, hang a pair of chipmunk ears on your wall.
Speaking of which, why do fishermen mount the whole fish but hunters mount only the head? I mean, if it is size that counts, then let’s hang the whole moose on the wall. (Or cow, as the case may be.)
Face it, hunting is just another big business. And like most big businesses, it feeds off and into pretty sick impulses. I was looking through a hardware store flyer one hunting season, amazed at all the essential hunting paraphernalia.
First, you’ve got your ‘Super Premium 200 Proof Doe-in-a-Can’ – the scent of a doe in heat. This stuff is very special: it’s “collected at the peak of the doe’s hottest second estrous cycle”. How do they know she’s at her peak? And who does the collecting? And how?
Then you’ve got your “shoulder length dressing gloves”. I’m thinking sexy over-the-elbow black satin. Try “heavy duty poly gloves” – to “protect against mess, stains, and infectious diseases while dressing game”. The picture shows a man with his arm up a deer’s ass – he’s “dressing game”.
And you’ve got your ‘Rusty Duck Lubricant’. Any guesses?
And then you’ve got your calls – your duck calls and your deer calls and your moose calls. I understand the there were a lot of hunting injuries the year the “CM3 Moose Call” came onto the market. Well, what do you expect when some moron stands in the middle of the forest during mating season and yells out in moose language “Come fuck me now!”
I was talking to one guy, a duck hunter, and I asked why he preferred to go hunting with a friend. I thought maybe hunting was just a cover for friendship between men who were too homophobic to just be with each other. But the guy said ‘for security.’ Given the moose call affair, I thought, good point. I mean last year alone, how many hunters were killed by ducks?