/The buck stops here

The buck stops here

By Steve Galea

f you hunt deer, two things are for certain: first, there will be times when you are sitting with a perfect wind in your face at a spot where your trail cameras routinely capture photos of dozens of deer, and there will be, inexplicably, none around. 

Zero. Nada. Zilch.

Second, while you are wondering why this is happening, your non-hunting friends will be texting you a constant stream of photos showing lots of deer up close, including several big bucks, that are lounging serenely in their yard.

The optimist in me would like to think that my friends are not doing this to be mean. No, I’d like to think they are doing it to reassure me that, despite my experience, there are still deer on this planet.

On the other hand, the pessimist in me is thinking they are doing this so that they can point out in a diplomatic way, that deer hunting is not nearly as difficult as me and other hunters make it out to be. 

Knowing my friends, this is the most logical explanation. 

Also, they are probably bragging a bit too. 

As if to prove my point, the other day one of my friends suggested that he could shoot a deer, wearing pajamas and drinking a coffee, every morning. I’m still not sure I believe it, though. I have seen tons of  deer, and not one wore pajamas or drank coffee.

The truth of the matter is the deer are fooling us all.

They have convinced me that I can put my tag on one if I just sit quietly for hours at a great spot in the woods. They have convinced my friends that they could easily harvest an animal if they just sit in their yard and relax.

As an experienced deer hunter, I could either be bitter or about this or use the experience to better my odds of taking a deer.

The thing is, I’m not exactly the kind of guy who takes the high road. Neither, though, am I the type of guy who takes the low road. So, I choose to be bitter while at the same time using this experience to better the odds of me taking a deer.

So, I asked if I could join my friend for coffee on his back deck for the rest of the season, which he agreed to, until he observed that I also brought a tree stand, camo gear and bow. 

“You’re not really here to be social are you?” he said.

“Sure, I am,” I whispered.

That didn’t work out so well, which is why I decided to plan ahead for next year in order to take advantage of the lessons I have learned. 

That’s why, next season, my favourite deer stand is going to be set up a little differently. First, it will have built the façade of the back of a bungalow, complete with deck, patio table set, coffee and newspaper. It’ll also have a manicured lawn in front of it, which I will mow. That lawn will be decorated with garden gnomes to ease suspicion and a picket fence that the deer can easily jump over, should they choose not to walk through the open gate.  I’ll even ask my wife to plant an expensive decorative garden there.

And, just in case I’m mistaken, I’ll leave out a pair of pajamas and a pot of coffee, too.