Something flickers and my head jerks left. I tense up. My eyes focus. These are predator eyes, quick to spot movement. And they face forward, like the lion, leopard, falcon and wolf, the better to stalk and ambush prey.
But first I have to find it. So they’re locked on a patch of brush a hundred yards away, searching, scanning, straining to decipher why a leafy branch is suddenly moving?
….Wind? Another bird? …..Or prey?
Oh please let it be prey. I’ve been up in this treestand for three hours, scanning a landscape to make any greenie gag: a six-year-old select cut. Unsightly brush pokes up from between the rotting stumps and tree tops that were once towering pines. Yes, six years ago this woodlot qualified as "old growth", the kind that makes greenies gurgle, coo and wet their pants with aesthetic bliss.
Now look at it. Looks like a daisy cutter bomb went off smack in the middle, or like Verdun in 1921. Hideous….simply ghastly.
But tell it to the wildlife. They love it. Tell it to this red-tailed hawk perched atop an oak a hundred yards to my left. He knows this terrain is beloved of rabbits, field mice and assorted savories. Tell it to the coyote who skulked by an hour ago, panting, nose to the ground. He knows deer and rabbits love this stuff. Tell it to the little punks who swaggered by a half hour ago with their Christmas shotguns, mocking my bold and prominently-placed, "Posted! No Trespassing! Violators will be Pistol-Whipped!" signs.
At first I seethed, gritted my teeth and thought about getting down and giving chase. But naaah. Something about seeing kids with guns that gets me right here. It’s a moving and beautiful sight. Watching them lovingly cradle and caress their new popguns…bantering and bragging about who’s gonna blast the biggest buck, boasting about who’s the best shot — I just choke up. I love it. America needs more of this.
"Been there done that," I thought. Yes, "Posted" signs were often invisible to my hoodlum chums and I too. No I just couldn’t spoil their fun.
Many pagan greenies worship the sun, "Ra"as they call it, "the source of life." Exactly. Yet they gush over "old growth" forests, and "rain forests"? Could anything be more idiotic? These forests prevent the sun from reaching the ground and generating life, as in plant growth and everything that swarms in to feast on it and hide in it. So chop it down and stand back for some real "Biodiversity"—or at least the useful kind, the kind that goes well in a Gumbo.
Anyway, nothing for the next hour and I grew bored, started fidgeting, daydreaming, fantasizing. First about a huge buck ambling into range, then about clinching that rumored film deal for Helldiver’s Rodeo, Ah yes……
But now that flicker of movement, my pulse rate jumps, my senses quicken and I’m jolted back into my primal role. The branch jerks again, but no bird flaps off. Again…again. Gotta be something big, I think. My pulse rate’s really hammering now. I grab the rifle from the branch and peer through the scope…still nothing…crank it up to 9X…..still nothing? Hummmm…What the heck is causing?…WAIT!!
Is that an ear?…a nose? A white throat patch!?…The sun glints off something..YES! An ANTLER!!
A jolt of adrenaline wacks me. This was vital for my ancestors. It kick-started them when they spotted the Mastodon, and fueled them while running it down and pummeling it with a big rock ax. I’ve got it easier. I just aim and pull the trigger. But tell it to my nervous system. It’s still in the early Paleolithic era.
It’s been a fruitless four-morning vigil but FINALLY here he is. The deer steps from behind the bush into the morning sun. Holy S**! I almost faint. What a sight. His winter coat glistens, his dark antlers shine, steam flows from his nostrils into the cold morning air. I’m convulsed in tremors now, breathing in gasps. The crosshairs shake spastically, along with my hands, and shoulders, and knees. Now the damn scope’s fogging up from my gasps!..Can’t see a damn…! Here, wipe it. There, it’s clear…..
But where’s the deer?!…..He’s walking off now! Now he’s behind another bush!.
Don’t tell me I blew it!…Did he wind me? No, don’t think so. Wind’s right and I’m a good 30 feet in this massive Sweetgum. Now he’s pawing the ground! Ah, there’s his rib-cage, a section behind his shoulder appears through an opening in the brush. That’s his ass.
Deep breath now. Steady…..steady….brace the rifle against the tree. He’ll be in that thicket with the next step. The crosshairs finally settle, smack on his shoulder. It’s now or never….start sque-e-e-e-e-e-e — ze — — oooops! The safety! Click it off. There. Start squeezing again….: PE — TOAAWW!!
The recoil almost knocks me outta the tree. I look through the scope again…..WHAT?!.. He’s still standing there! Rock still…How could I miss?…Am I shooting blanks?! Did I hit a twig or branch!? Must have. I crank in another round with hands shaking like castanets. The crosshairs center on his shoulder again…deep breath. Steady..steady….steady dammit—oops! He’s bolting! I mean shagging ass!
But fortunately through a clearing. I swing the cross hairs. They just pass his brisket, squeeze: PE—TOAAWW!!….Where..?….
He’s down! DOWN! But still moving, kicking! His head comes up. I crank the bolt again and brace the gun against the tree. The crosshairs settle on his neck….PE-TOAAW!!
That’s it. He’s down! — for good now. The tail flickers once and he’s still.
But not me. I’m a basket case, shaking, gasping, my knees almost knocking together. But you’d better believe I’m smiling—I look through the crosshairs again, and count four points on one side of the magnificent (to me they’re ALL magnificent) rack.
A beauty. I’m ecstatic, pumped, almost delirious with bliss. "YA — HOOOOOO!…YEAH YOU RITE!!" A deranged scream echoes over the woods. This confuses me—till I realize it’s me.
Ooops, now I’m in trouble. I let the cat outta the bag, spilled the beans. I admitted it. Hunting’s fun and the thrill’s in the kill. The ambush of a wily prey, the grip on a powerful weapon, the blast, the recoil, sending violent death on it’s way at 2700 feet per second—what a KICK!!
And it’s far from over. Between the steaks, burgers, sausage, roasts, tacos, chili, etc., this entire 200-lb deer will vanish down my family’s (which includes three teenagers) gullet within a month. And tomorrow night it’s an ovation and chorus of "YUMMMMMMMS!" from the wine-happy dinner party guests as I make the grand entrance clad in my apron, lift the cover — " Voila!" — and present the backstrap medallions in mushroom burgundy sauce, then uncork another bottle of Merlot.
Lord Mc Cauley had the animal rightists’ number two centuries ago when he wrote: " The Puritan hates fox-hunting not because it brings pain to the fox, but because it brings pleasure to the hunter."
Recall Mencken’s famous definition of Puritanism: "The haunting fear that someone somewhere may be enjoying himself. " Here’s the essence of the animal rights movement.
A few years back some refuge or park somewhere in the Beltway was seriously overpopulated with deer. They’d eaten everything. They were munching out on neighboring gardens. Motorists were constantly smashing them.
So a hunt was planned to thin them out. Well, the Animal Rightists went apeshit. Blocking it, filing this suit, this injunction—whatever. No way a recreational hunt was to be held, they insisted. Such a thing would be intolerably "cruel."
But they finally agreed to allow Game Dept. sharpshooters to thin out the deer. Think about that for a second. Just as many deer just as dead. But ah! The killing was done by frowning government drones while punching the clock. So it was okay. Killing those same deer as recreation, by hunters with their families and friends all with smiles on their face , was unthinkable. Yes, Mencken nailed this mindset.
The late Cleveland Amory, former PETA head, called hunting, "an antiquated symbol of macho self-aggrandizement that has no place in a civilized society."
I only disagree with the last eight words. Fact is, the man had a point. As I look through the scope of my trusty u201806 at my fallen trophy, as I recall the blast, the recoil, the smell of the hovering powder—as I walk up, grab and antler and heft his bulk, as I hear the "yumms!" and see the dreamy smiles and rolling eyes of family and guests munching out on my hard-won kill, I feel pretty damn "macho" and "self-aggrandized" indeed. I’ll admit it.
But why is this any of YOUR business, Ms busybody, sexually-frustrated, sourpuss animal rightist? Get a life, will ya! Better yet, get a husband, and torment him, like normal women. Have some sons and fan their bottoms, twist their ears, like normal women. But leave me ALONE!…Geezuz!
Though heterosexual from all I hear, Amory, like most male animal rightists, had female instincts. These creatures know instinctively—they can somehow sense, maybe even scent—when a normal male is enjoying himself, despite his most ingenious efforts at camouflage. Mencken again from In Defense of Women: "A man’s women folk always regard him secretly as an ass. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them. They posses a sharp and accurate perception of reality."
So when this male enjoyment is detected, their first impulse is to squash it. In married women this is a very sound and socially useful instinct because nine times out of ten when her husband’s enjoying himself he’s indeed doing something inimical to her and the family’s interest. So she sees that hint of a smile, or that twinkle in his eye, or some other vague hint of pleasure…..yes, the party’s finally cranking up…..
And that’s it! She moves promptly into action. "Let’s go! I’m tired! ..I have a headache!" Never fails.
And here we’re sorely tempted to employ Taliban-esque measures, or at least Ralph Kramden-esque measures—"Bang-Zoom!" (By the way, are The Honeymooners still showing anywhere? Can the dykes and crypto-dykes who run Hollywood allow a show where a husband constantly threatens to punch-out his wife? Or has Ralphie boy been Talibanned like Amos u2018n Andy?)
Anyway, more than a temptation, that urge for "TO THE MOON! ALICE!," is almost a suction when they start that crap. But resist it. Don’t give in. Try this: "Just one more drink baby, here I’ll get you one too."
"Oh Alright! But hurry up!"
Bring her back a "Pete’s Special", a drink made famous at Pat O’Brien’s in the French Quarter. These have a glorious effect on the female central nervous system. Indeed the only danger is their mood ricocheting off in the opposite direction like a golfball hitting Janet Reno’s head. Last week at a party on a Bourbon Street balcony suite Pelayo and I resorted to this very ploy, then went downstairs to walk a bit and mingle with the berserk crowds.
We came back a half hour later to find a raucous crowd of frat boys looking up and waving beads. "Show them AGAIN!!!" They howled. "Come on! YOUR turn!"
"Hey!" Pelayo looked over in panic. "Isn’t that OUR?!……
"YES!" I gasped. "Let’s get the hell up there!—FAST!"
But in single, politically-motivated (and teetotaling) women this killjoy instinct is dangerous. They can’t yank a husband by the arm and spoil his evening. They can’t police the schoolyard with a scowl and stout ruler like a nun. So they take it out on us in general.
And here we get to the nut of the gun-control campaign. Gun-control should be a dead issue. The pro side has been stomped and routed—utterly trounced — by a blizzard of evidence that makes roadkill ravioli of every one of their arguments. Books like John Lott’s "More Guns Less Crime" leave the pro crowd without any wiggle room, looking like complete idiots.
Then the mainstream media finally caught up with LewRockwell.com and the hosannas for Michael Belleslies turned to nervous coughs behind the hand. They can’t dodge it: this "scholar" has been outed as a fraud consummate and studious—a fraud shameless and relentless—a fraud deliberate and unmitigated.
The gun-control case should be closed, shut and locked away forever. The pro-control crowd should be of interest only to medical specialists studying dementia and other mental defects.
But it goes on. How can this be?
I’ll tell you why: Because the dykes and crypto-dykes (both male and female) who influence public policy in this country simply cannot tolerate normal males having fun. And guns are fun. Employing them to kill animals is even more fun. Simple as that. There, I said it.
On Politically Incorrect recently Bill Maher and his pinko-greenie lynch mob were ragging me about hunting. "You call yourself sportsmen? No way. You guys just like to kill …blah….blah…blah…" I blew up.
"Look Bill!" I snarled. "I hunt several times a week for almost four months and kill maybe four deer a year! So obviously there’s a LOT(!) going on besides the killing. If it was just the killing, I can think of much cheaper and easier ways to get my jollies. I’d get a job in a slaughterhouse!"
Chums I introduce to hunting are always astounded by one thing: how damn HARD it is to find game—and then coax it close enough to blast. They see those geese on the golf course, those ducks in the park, those deer eating the azaleas. "Man this’ll be a breeze!"
HAH! Try it sometime. You’ll see.
Humberto Fontova [send him mail] holds an M.A. in History from Tulane University. He’s the author of Helldiver’s Rodeo described as "Highly entertaining!" by Publisher’s Weekly, as "Terrific!" by Salon.com, and as "Just what the doctor ordered!" by Ted Nugent.