In a similar vein of storytelling as when I regaled you with my experiences working on a dairy farm, I am about to share something that may shock you. I used to be a hunter. Ok, to be honest, I was never that into it, but thanks to living in rural NY, I was expected to give it a try regardless of how I felt.
I had been hunting a few times before the fateful experience I am about to share, and each time further proved how much I despise the activity. For instance, there were a few days where I sat in a field blind staring at an empty expanse of grass, hoping that a deer would wander across my sightline so I could act like the king of anti-hunting by pardoning it. Because of these experiences, I was not too keen on going out anymore, but after some persuading from Bill, an older family friend, I agreed to go.
It was Halloween, and I remember eying a bowl of candy sitting on a table in the entryway of Bill’s home while I waited for him to gather his hunting supplies. Thankfully, after a few moments spent watching a chubby, acne-riddled teen stare at the candy, his wife kindly offered me some. I was pretty sure that she meant for me to take one of the snack size candy bars, so I waited until she left the room before grabbing handfuls of it as if I were Honey Boo Boo in the candy aisle of a Costco. Feeling content because of the ample amounts of candy shoved into my pockets, I headed out into the crisp air to attempt hunting yet again.
I had never been in a treestand before, so I was a little concerned when I was told that it was where I would be perched for the afternoon. I considered saying that I’d be okay waiting in the pickup truck while Bill hunted, but I realized that doing so would keep me from appearing “farm strong” to the grizzled cowboy. So with the self-imposed fear tactic that I would look weak in the eyes of someone who had probably eaten a raw grizzly bear in the past, I obediently clambered up into the tree stand.
I will admit that I got a rush from the altitude once I settled into the high perch and considered shouting “I’m the king of the world!” But a moment of decorum overtook me, and I quickly persuaded myself that doing so would cause me to look insane to whatever woodland animal was watching the Walmart clothing clad teenager in the tree stand. I also didn’t want to scare off any potential targets, but that pro-hunting thought lasted about as long as it took me to fill my pockets with the candy meant for trick-or-treaters.
I soon pulled my Tracfone out and began scrolling through the contact list as a means of passing the time. Once that scintillating activity had concluded, I moved on to humming while munching on the obscene amount of chocolate that I had pocketed before leaving for this punishment. Before long, I was feeling full and content while I sat watching the trees for signs of life.
I don’t know if I was oblivious to the fact that I was actively scaring deer away or if the years of watching Bambi had finally taken their toll on my subconscious. But there wasn’t a deer within a 12-mile radius who hadn’t been warned that there was a fat teen gorging himself, I mean hunting, in the woods.
I must have dozed off at one point because I remember being jolted awake by the cowboy, covered in camouflage and soaked in doe urine, who told me that he was ready to go.
On the way to the pickup truck, he explained that his luck had been down during his time spent hunting. He hadn’t seen any deer cross his path, and he wondered what was causing them to avoid an area that they typically frequent. I mumbled something about it probably being the weather while wiping the last bit of chocolate from the corner of my mouth and continued towards the vehicle without making any eye contact.
Bill, if, somehow, you are one of my 13 subscribers, please know that I am the reason you didn’t shoot your prize-winning buck that day. I was fat, bored, reeking of chocolate and sweat, and probably snoring. Please don’t hold that against me.