Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Happiness is a Warm Gun

Disclaimer: The following story may make some who are vegan or PETA types slightly queasy. However, the overall story is worth getting to the end for and I hope that you would try to persevere.

I had no intentions on participating in this. But yesterday, this memory came to mind as did this song title. So here is the story and its list of characters.

I come from a family of seven boys. Yep! All boys, no girls. I am number six from the top otherwise known as the second youngest. I will refer to my brothers by their first initial and a number that represents where they are in the birth order. D1, B2, K3, D4, R5, E6(me), and on the end A7. Most of my brothers have nothing to do with this story but are included just to confuse you. Actually, the story's only characters are myself, R5, A7, and a mutual friend named Chad.

At least 10 years ago, R5, A7, our friend Chad, and myself went out deer hunting. Now in Wisconsin it is practically your duty as a citizen of the state to participate in the annual gun deer season. It provides revenue for the state by way of a "tax" called a hunting license. It is also a virtual means of self defense for the rest of the year, due to the amount of deer actually in the state and their natural desire to run around looking for ways to hurtle into your car while you are driving at speeds of 60 MPH. Either way, I used to hunt but didn't enjoy it enough to go back into the woods in the last 10 years.

On opening weekend of whenever this story took place, R5, A7, Chad, and I were hunting on some state owned public hunting grounds near the center of Wisconsin. I remember that we hadn't seen anything to shoot all morning and had met up together by mid morning to discuss our plan for the rest of the day. We decided to head back out for a little while longer before lunch time and see if we could find anything. So we split up and starting walking back to our deer stands where we hoped for some unsuspecting deer to pass us by. Shortly after entering back into the woods, I heard a shot and then another. They were close and seemed to come from the area where R5 was sitting. I sat a little longer, listening for more shots, and looking to see if the shots would scare up any deer who would pass my way. No such luck, so after waiting a few minutes I left my stand to go and see if someone in our party had gotten a deer. When I got to where R5 was, he was standing over a dead deer. He had just gotten to his stand when the deer came walking through and R5 shot. Shortly after I got there, Chad found us with my brother A7 being the last to show up for the "look at the dead deer" party.

Now I should explain a little about my younger brother, A7. He is a very good outdoors-men, loves to hunt, fish, hike, etc. He knows all these different plants and barks that you can eat if you get lost in the wild without food and would prefer not to starve. He also has a litany of various hunting/outdoor stories that have a tendency to run towards the side of excessive exaggeration. I refer to him as the "Last Great White Hunter". He also is quick to take the hunting thing to a bit of an extreme, such as drinking the blood of the first deer you kill. You get the picture.

Anyway, R5, Chad, and I are standing around the recently deceased deer when A7 comes walking down the pine tree row. In an attempt to try and show his ability and knowledge in hunting, A7 asks if he can gut the deer. For those who don't know, a freshly killed deer must have all of its organs and what not removed soon after it is killed to preserve the venison for eating. Well, R5, Chad, and myself all have the ability to gut the deer, but if A7 actually wants to do it, then who are we to stop him. So, A7 leans his gun against a tree, pulls out his hunting knife, and lays the deer on its back. Now to properly gut a deer, you start by cutting through the skin from just under the neck between the front legs and then all the way across the stomach to the tail. The slight problem that arises in trying to do this is that dead deer do not lay on their backs well and due to the fact that their legs are always pointing straight, it is a little difficult to keep the deer on its back, with legs spread out wide, so that you can cut open its chest. I hope you get the picture. To help A7 out with the deer organ removal process, Chad stood on the deer's right rear leg and I stood on its left rear leg. This allowed the deer to be completely spread eagle like, on the its back, waiting for A7's impending knife point. At this point A7 gets down on the ground with his knees right behind the deer's tail and leans over the deer to began the cutting sequence. Something else you may not know, but should be reminded of is that dead animals have involuntary muscle twitches shortly after their demise. Back to the story. As A7 leans over the deer and begins to cut, the deer's ear moved. I know what you are thinking, but no, the deer is dead this is just involuntary muscle twitching. So as my brother continues to operate with his knife, more muscle twitches. A7 sees the twitches and in this loud voice filled with hunters bravado begins to mock the dead deer. He is actually laying across the dead deer with his knife pointed in the open eye of the deer mocking it. "Oh! Think you're still alive! You're not 'cause we killed you and now we are going to eat you." It was a little weird but not out of character for my brother. It was at this moment, as my brother lay completely straddling the deer, that the moment we have all been waiting for arrived.

Some things in life you come upon, while others are thrust upon you. This moment was the latter. It is not every day that you are standing over a deer, watching your younger brother acting with such bravado over a dead animal. It is also not every day that one has such an opportunity and so you can not just let it pass by without acting. So as he lay with his face just inches away from the twitching deer face, with his knife pointed at its throat, mocking it loudly and verbosely as he stared into its eyes, that was the moment that I intentionally lifted my foot. Remember, I am standing on the deer's hind leg. When I lifted my foot, the leg took off like a catapult that had just been released, snapping back towards its own stomach and directly towards the backside of my sprawled out brother. That leg hit him in the rear end with a loud snap and A7 thought the deer had come back to life while he was spread out over it. He let out this loud yell and jumped up and backwards as his knife flew 30 feet in the air. He started yelling and looking for his gun to shoot the deer. I don't think I have ever seen anyone so scared in my life. However, he quickly realized what I had done and started calling me every name in the book. He also continued to reach for his gun, but I think he was looking to shoot me at that point. I remember Chad, R5, and myself laughing so hard we were crying and that I wouldn't let A7 near his rifle for the next half an hour for fear that he would shoot me. So, while happiness is a warm gun, happiness is also holding your warm gun and your bother's warm gun whom you just played a prank on.

4 comments:

MadMup said...

I haven't laughed this much in a long time :)

Makes me sorta want to tell the tale about stealing A7's gun from him that one time and how mad your dad was at me, but I think I'll leave that alone for now :)

d4v34x said...

I started laughing about halfway through this and am not sure when I'm going to stop. Funny!

Eric said...

Honestly, I cannot think about this without laughing out loud every time. It was one of the funniest things I have ever seen or been a part of.

Mup,
I have no recollection of you stealing my brothers gun. Do share sometime. I am amazed at what you can remember.

MadMup said...

I think I could still get arrested for it, so I don't think I should share it!