Run, Bambi’s mom, run!
No deer were harmed in the making of this photograph. My dog Bert was chasing her, though. He does this all the time, but so far the only mammal he has successfully run to earth is a skunk, and needless to say the skunk had the advantage in that stand-off.
I awaken on Saturday mornings to the dulcet tones of gunshots echoing through the valley. It’s deer hunting season here in the Texas Hill Country. Manly men from Austin and San Antonio buy hunting leases in my hood. They get a gang of bloodthirsty pals together, outfit themselves in dudely camo drag from Cabela’s, ditch the missus, and infest the hills with their guns’n'ammo for the weekend.
The usual procedure, as I understand it, is for them to hide in small structures called deer blinds. They throw corn around in front of the deer blind. They swig bourbon from hip flasks and suppress homosexual yearnings until some hapless ungulate wanders by and starts eating the corn. Then they blow its fucking brains out.
Years ago, before it came into the Faster family, El Rancho Deluxe was used for hunting. “It’s almost certain,” said the ranch seller guy, “that LBJ once hunted here.” No doubt! That LBJ was pretty ubiquitous. According to people around here who tell you stuff, there is not a centimeter of Central Texas that was not personally trodden upon, owned, sold, lost in a poker game, or peed on by LBJ.
Anyway, on the oaky knoll behind my house lies a relic from those good old gun-totin’ times: an ancient deer blind. It’s got a hell of a view. I call it LBJ’s Vacation Lodge. Spinster aunts are typically expert archaeologists, so it was for me but the work of a moment to unearth the rusting remnants of the barbed wire death trap that used to surround this deer blind on 3 sides. The deer, one surmises, were lured in by the corn, trapped by the barbed wire, and murdered like gangsters. Boo-ya.
A guy I know who is in the process of leaving his wife of 20 years (he “loves” her, but she’s really let herself go, so sayonara fat old wife!) takes solace, in this troubled time, by absconding to the Hill Country to shoot deer on weekends. He offered me some venison. He has “more than he knows what to do with.”
I declined with curled lip. We went back and forth with the whole conservation argument, which basically says that hunting is good for deer because it keeps their population in check.
Oh, please. Hunting is good for hunters because it gives them something to shoot when they can’t shoot their fat old wives, and for corporations who sell guns and camouflage beer coozies, and for taxidermists. However, I happen to know that the deer don’t appreciate it one bit.
Through my trusty binoculars, I’ve gotten to know quite a few deer since moving out here. Because nobody at El Rancho Deluxe is psychotic enough to shoot at’em all weekend, the joint is more or less crammed to the canopy with refugees from the bloodbath. They’re pleasant, harmless little things who, take it from me, vastly prefer being deer to being more venison than some dude knows what to do with.
I’m no weepy sentimentalist — OK, yes I am, bite me — but bloodsport? Come the fuck on.