By Scott Longman
In most jurisdictions, road hunting is muy illegal. Indeed, as it ought to be. But no law is ever a meaningful impediment to sociopaths.
We know this guy personally. He was and is a larger than life personality, former Special Forces, 3,000-plus jumps, motorcycle wrecks, superlative shooter, doesn’t blink often enough, four girlfriends at once, and possessed of, in the legendary words of Sheriff Buford T. Justice: “A total lack of respect for the law.” We can tell this story now because it is long, long after the statute of limitations closed the window on legal recourse.
A Chevy Suburban full of The Usual Suspects headed out, a couple of hours before dawn, with a plan to be well-settled into the treestands before first light. Deer bowhunting season. As they drove down a dark and distant county road, the anti-penumbra of the headlights picked up the reflective eyes of what could only be a deer off to the right.
We’ll call him “Bobby.” Bobby bellows: “Stop the truck!”
Everyone else aboard were generally law-abiding citizens without a streak of sociopathy. And they were, collectively, the voice of strong dissent, not to mention aware of draconian forfeiture laws for those transgressing the rule of the DNR. But ol’ Bobby was a forceful character if ever there were one, and he opened the door while the truck still doing maybe 40 and threatened to leave just then. Yes, he would have PLF’d out at that speed without any hesitation. The driver, not sure which liability to be more concerned about, coasted to a stop, with Bobby still bellowing at him.
We are all aware of clever Fish & Game agents putting up deer decoys along backroads, hoping to bag some inbred with Busch Light on his breath who just can’t resist. And Bobby was aware of that stratagem, too. But what put him over the edge was the reflection of the eyes: he had never heard of a decoy that could do that, plus, as he watched, the eyes walked around.
He grabbed his compound bow out of the back and ghosted into the treeline.
As he picked up the narrative: Slow movement, as close to silent as you can get, taking his time.
He finally got up to where he could hear the animal. And his eyes, now acclimatized to the dark, caught glimpses of movement. He adjusted, moved forward, looked for a lighter spot of background in the hopes of catching some kind of silhouette, and he was rewarded: there it is, dim and partial, but enough. He nocked a broadhead, went full draw and . . . breath out . . . released.
He estimated he was no more than twenty yards away, and he was and is capable of hitting solidly at more than twice that range and . . . nothing.
The damn deer was still there, walking around.
Whisky. Tango. Foxtrot.
He moved silently forward another five or so yards, and nocked up another arrow.
Easy now. Breathe. Settle in. Easy . . . release.
That broadhead was a clear hit, the deer bucking and thrashing. But. It. Didn’t. Run. It didn’t do the 100 yard dash that leaves you hoping for a blood trail. It . . . just . . . bounced around.
He of course did the wait. He did not immediately pursue. Wait and breathe. And then wait a bit more. When enough time had passed, he slowly stalked forward.
And walked right into an obstacle, smack in the face.
It was a chain link fence.
That’s why the first arrow didn’t hit: it deflected off the wire.
A moment of recovery, then he pulled up the fence fabric, crawled under and moved forward to his downed deer. In one providential, epiphenal moment, all of this made really bad sense.
Yes, that was a real deer. Yes, it didn’t run. Yes, there was a chain link fence.
Because . . . it’s a petting zoo.
So, right here is where the non-sociopaths among us Exit Stage Right With Some Alacrity.
Oh, not Bobby.
He recovered the deer, punched back under the fence fabric, and made his way to the Suburban with it over his shoulder.
His reasoning: “The deer was no longer doing them any good, so let’s have the venison.”