A man with a rifle slung around his shoulder dragged a large carcass behind him as I climbed in Forestland. The deer's tongue hung out the side of its mouth swinging in circles as the corpse bumped along the small path between the boulders. The hunter stopped, propped his foot up on a knee high boulder, and wiped the sweat off his brow. I stared.
"Nice buck you got there," said one pebble wrestler.
"Yup," the hunter grabbed the deer's antlers and swung its head towards us. "This sum-ma-bitch is a tweleve pointer."
The deer's tongue flopped to the other side of its mouth.
"Pretty proud. P-retty proud. I sawed her in half so I could get her to the car. My boy's wrasslin the other half down. Anyway, got to keep humpin' if I want to mount her today. See you folks later." The hunter grabbed the straps around the deers neck and continued the plod to his car.
Five minutes later, a tweleve year old boy came huffing down the trail, towing the deer's ass and hind quarters. He stopped to breathe for a second, then continued after his pa.
My dad hung a deer from the crab apple tree outside of my grandma's house. My brothers and I watched the blood drain for three days. Nick poked it with a stick and the enormous carcass swung. My dad yelled at us to stop messing around. That winter we ate venison stew, venison steaks, venison stir-fry, venison sandwiches, venison and eggs. We all got pretty sick of venison. Whenever we thought we had stuffed the last piece down, my mother would pull a little more out of the freezer. The meat was cheaper than anything we could get at the grocery store.
There is not much sport in hunting. There's a man with a high powered rifle, complete with techy scope, and there's a deer or elk or bear or some endangered species with little to no knowledge of rednecks wanting to kill it and mount its head on the wall. I guess I do not like hunting much. Seeing the hunter and his son drag the deer by the boulders angered me. Why did they have to kill it? At the same time, I remembered how much venison we ate that winter. We ate the shit out of my father's buck...damn near literally.