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How to Get a Deer - by Megan Estey

The first step in preparing to “go an’ get yerself a deer” is to find someone who is willing to go into the snow-covered woods with you for several hours, risking frostbite and possible limb amputation as a result. Once you have found someone drunk e ugh to accompany you, gather up all the clothing in your house, then read the labels and select only the ones that are made of wool, flannel, fleece, or polypropylene. Then don all these items until it is nearly impossible for you to walk and you look l e the Vermont equivalent of a New York City bag lady, minus the random splotches of pigeon poop. When you feel you have reached this point, remove approximately half of your layers and leave the rest in a pile in the middle of the living room floor wher your entire family is sure to trip over it and then shout obscenities at you when you return home. The top layer should be something which is visible from a long distance, i.e. your uncle’s favorite Hawaiian shirt or your sister’s lime green prom dress om 1982. This ensures that other hunters will see that you are not an animal and will not fire at you, although if you select the prom dress you may be shot anyway. Dig your shotgun out of the back yard where you last used it to frighten those damn robi away from your flower garden, and you’re ready to set out.

Once you are outside, get into your vehicle, which should preferably be a pickup truck. Station wagons and sports cars are also acceptable, but dead deer tend to give off a lingering odor which may not be a great selling point when you try to get you date into the back seat after a movie. Drive to a rural wooded area, and don’t bother to find out whose land you are on. Just follow the hunter’s creed: “It’s easier to apologize later or after accidentally shooting several domesticated cats than to ask ermission and be denied.” Walk quietly in the woods, speaking only to tell lewd jokes and make comments like “Damn! That bird must have been this big! Good thing I got my gun!” It is also acceptable to dispose of beer cans in the forest as long a they are camouflaged by leaves or safely tucked away into a nearby bird’s nest. Don’t bother looking for deer; as everyone knows, they will come looking for you as soon as you decide you’re ready to shoot one.

As soon as you see movement in the woods, any movement, be sure to fire rapidly and wildly, not necessarily aiming at anything, but making lots of noise. This should help you scare the bejeezus out of whomever you are hunting with so you can get all e game for yourself. Feel free to run off into the woods without your hunting partner, ostensibly after the game you were firing at. That way he can’t steal your prize.

Continue through the woods, firing at anything that vaguely resembles a deer. Be sure to allow extra time to apologize to the land-owning farmer for accidentally wounding his wife. After you have spent the required six hours completely lost in the wo s, devote ten minutes to seeking out your partner and telling him the story of how you shot the biggest deer anyone has ever seen. Be sure to explain that it was too large for you to drag back to the truck alone, and when you tried to find someone else help, you forgot where you left it.

Get back in your truck and drive to the nearest “weighing station,” which can be found at almost any Vermont country store. Wait until an unsuspecting, more successful hunter drives up. When the hunter goes into the store to register the kill, quickl unload his deer and put it in the back of your truck.

Drive home and tell your family that they had all better hurry out so they can see the deer before you gut it. Then convince them that they really want the educational experience of carrying the carcass inside and cutting out the meat. Tell y r wife that you’re having venison for dinner. When she asks you how you got the deer, tell her that you shot it yourself-- fair and square.

January 2000