Hunting With The Curmudgeon

[There are many ways to experience election day, this is one.]

With timeless unhurried grace the sun rose. It was cold. I wanted it to rise faster. The sun doesn’t give a shit. I sat there and shivered. I was cradling a rifle and leaning against a tree; I may have fallen asleep a few times (it’s hard to tell).

I was hunting, or rather lying in ambush near a well-situated tree. I’d been there since before dawn without seeing the slightest hint of a game animal. A large portion of hunting is waiting for hours or days followed by ten seconds of high pressure. There are no do-overs. It’s like life.

On election morning freezing my balls off for several hours had been for naught. Oh well, sometimes it works. I stood up and stretched. The sun felt good but it wasn’t warm.

Fifty yards away my hunting partner (who I’ll refer to as Dr. Mingo) sprang to his feet. I was dressed like the Michelin man and a little chilly, he was dressed lightly and was probably an ice cube.

The lure of the truck heater was irresistible. Soon we were hiking for the road. Just a couple of hunters hoofing it through the woods. You know the kind. Generic men clad in blaze orange and camouflage, evil Second Amendment assault weapons of doom slung over their shoulders (guns to which, according to our current President, we fearfully cling), we had non-ironic wool hats, non-metrosexual beards, boots with actual mud on them, and represented the entire package of rural lifestyle which screams “deplorable” to pasty upscale urbanite elite shitheads. All we wanted was bacon and eggs for breakfast but our presence seemed symbolic on election day.

Soon we were basking in diesel fueled heat and rolling towards the nearest greasy spoon. Dr. Mingo asked the question that was weighing on both of our minds: “Which one of the two idiots are Americans going to elect today?”

I had no idea. I turned off the gravel road onto a state highway, passed two “Trump” signs and a passel of state or county election signs. (“Smith for dogcatcher.”) I ignore most of the local stuff, half the time they’re unopposed and the rest of the time I’m happy with whatever the hell they do… which is not much.

“You are riding in a truck with the only blogger that has deliberately logged off Wi-Fi on election day. I haven’t got a clue.” Actually, I had a theory, but it’s hard to be certain of yourself when the media screams the opposite day after day.

I shrugged my shoulders. I have faith in competition. Faith doesn’t come easy. Yes, it is true that Americans periodically choose badly. (FDR had no ability to rein himself in, Buchanan couldn’t avert the coming civil war, Carter stepped on his own balls, etc… Institutions of men are always fallible.) But in general, we at least select from those who are competent enough to steamroll their opposition. Trump had entered Thunderdome and emerged having defeated literally a dozen opponents. The elites and the NeverTrumpers and George Will and his precious little bowtie can get pissed off at Trump’s vulgarity but the bastard left a trail of severed heads behind him. I can respect that. After John McCain and Mitt Romney I was ready for a candidate (male or female) with some fucking spine. Trump entered fair competition and won hard.

Hillary competes in a different way; if you think you’re in a fair fight with Hillary you’ve already lost. She taught a generation of idealistic “Feel The Bern” nimrods all about math and collusion. A lesson that will serve them well in the future. Could I make peace with the concept that a corrupt felon that puts away her opponent with misdirection and scheming is merely using a different kind of competition? Is not mastery of the dark arts a form of competency? Is it not skill and acumen to have your hired monkeys in the press poison your opponent? Was she a winner simply because she could lie on a pile of money while Bernie and then Trump were shredded by her minions? I didn’t like it but you don’t get to pick who emerges from Thunderdome. Just as competition brings out the best competitor it brings out the best cheats. Maybe this is a time in history when America needs a cheat?

I sighed. I have faith in competition and I have faith in democracy but sometimes I see a Che Guevara shirt at a Starbucks or an addled land whale in WalMart and lose the latter. Faith ‘aint easy.

We enjoyed our greasy breakfast and went back to the woods. My blog post went live without me. I avoided all media. The grid stayed on, the nation continued functioning, the sky was still blue… This election day, as with all election days, the media was hyperventilating about “the most historic election in the history of ever” but I didn’t hear. I leaned against a tree and tried to sort out the sounds of rustling leaves. Was that a squirrel or a trophy class buck? If Washington D.C., New York, and LA were all smoking radioactive craters I wouldn’t know of care for hours. The wind shifted to the west and we changed hunting plans.

Elections matter but the wind mattered more.

(To be continued when I get around to writing it.)

About Adaptive Curmudgeon

I will neither confirm nor deny that I actually exist.
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10 Responses to Hunting With The Curmudgeon

  1. David W. says:

    Well since it’s deer season…

    This morning I saw the largest buck i have ever seen in my entire life. It’s neck was easily larger than a basketball around. His body looked like someone spray painted a 55 gallon drum brown and stuck it on some twigs. He was massive. I did not know they grew that big around here. And yet, the antlers were smaller than my middle finger.

    How can a deer put on that much fat and not grow out of spike territory? Unless i found some sort of elephantitis yearling buck, I have no idea whats going on in my backyard.

    This bothers me. It’s my backyard.

    • Mark Matis says:

      You might want to contact your local rancher and tell him he had better use some spray paint and label each of his stock as “COW” before someone accidentally mistakes one of ’em for a game animal…

    • I’m just guessing here but maybe it’s an imbalance between age and mass. We expect an old buck to be large and a large buck to have a big rack. Your monster doesn’t fit the usual growth curve.

      Perhaps this mutant lives in an environment which supports super fast bodymass growth. Could it be a young deer (small rack) that got huge fast and now the rack seems small by comparison. If the buck in question is simply rolling in good nutritious food maybe it bulked up super fast without the years of age that usually lead to a large rack? You can also insert whatever theory you like about hormones in the water or antibiotics in whatever feed the deer ate. The other theory is an old buck that has a small rack. Something like a deficiency in some mineral that the buck needs to grow a rack but not to grow huge.

      Those are just guesses. You should shoot it and dissect it to find out. Then grill the steaks. 🙂

      • David W. says:

        It was just beyond the range I’m comfortable with my crossbow so I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure. But I’m leaning towards the really old deer hypothesis. Or possibly bad genetics + good food. (I’ve been researching)

        There has been a 2-3 year old buck on my game cameras for the last few years showing no growth but a small 2 point spike. I think his balls just finished dropping and massed up because of it. I haven’t seen him at all on my cameras this year, so I think it might be him. But I’m still not sure. This area of Ohio usually has decent sized racks. Even if they have low point numbers their spread and width are huge. But there are also a few thousands acres of corn/soybeans and sheep food to eat within walking distance of my place so it could just be a yearling that got fat.

        If I see him in 2 weeks during gun season or in January during muzzleloader season, and I still have a buck tag, I’ll be sure to come back with pictures.

  2. Tennessee Budd says:

    Well, AC, we differ a bit.
    I have absolutely zero faith in democracy, & it has pained me that we’ve been getting closer & closer to democracy as I’ve grown up and older (I’m 51). I want to continue to live in a republic. Now a bunch of clueless bastards are (once again) clamoring for the elimination of the electoral college. The Seventeenth Amendment was bad enough; it bothers me that every two-bit, backwater bunch of savages with a flag has a representative to the US government, but my state’s government does not. If we ever eliminate the electoral college we’ll pretty much be a functional democracy, the window-dressing of elected representatives notwithstanding.
    I’ll await the next installment, but I hope you came home with meat. I haven’t been hunting since my bike wreck, 8 years ago; can’t climb the damned stands anymore–the leg don’t work that way no more. No sympathy desired, it’s just how things are. If I wanted to badly enough I’d find a way. Much as I love my venison, I hate the damned cold. It isn’t remotely cool enough yet in TN for me to hunt, anyhow.

  3. D R T says:

    This –> Elections matter but the wind mattered more. This is one awesome sentence.

  4. Pingback: I’m Back: Part Two | Adaptive Curmudgeon

  5. Pingback: Hunting With The Curmudgeon: Part Three | Adaptive Curmudgeon

  6. Pingback: Hunting with the Curmudgeon: Part Five | Adaptive Curmudgeon

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