Even under the tutelage of an experienced hunter, and with a wife's unreserved endorsement, the sport of deer hunting poses difficulties for novices, to whom "game day" means a Saturday at Sanford Stadium dressed in a red shirt camouflaging them in the crowd and intimidating the prey.
The entire hunting season can elapse without a single sighting of the hapless victim, much less firing a shot. To get a deer, neophytes would have to tackle one naively walking under the stand.
Mentors indicate that apprentices fail to hone hunting skills with precision. Too often they wear the wrong clothes (a blue sweatshirt, orange vest, jeans and tennis shoes), emit the wrong odors (a quart of cappuccino), and have the wrong attitude (taking pop-shots at chattering squirrels).
I visualize beginners, on opening day, perching in the tree tops with their buffet breakfasts, looking like over zealous, over-served War Eagles making cat calls at the Dawgs, and waiting for gimp animals to perchance to stroll within tackling range.
When deer spy greenhorns, they stop and consider the options: 1) Take a risk and taunt a trainee, counting on bad aim or 2) haul white-tail, because guys wearing jeans shoot at anything.
This season, my husband, no longer a plebe, has a new gun and a fresh outlook. And, as any good wife should, I encourage him to bring home something to hang on the wall. Under pressure, he developed a long list of excuses (including accusing me of reverse psychology):
"I might not have much luck, you know. What if I only see a small one? Really honey, even if I got a big one, it might knick its antlers on a tree running away, or have a damaged rack from rutting. A stray shot could take a piece of the horns. The big ones might come out on the Saturdays that I'm in Athens." (I think he's reversing the reverse psychology.)
Relax. With the right approach, bagging deer is easier than you think. First, obtain the correct clothing ensemble. If you intend to sit amongst oaks, then don't clash in a camo outfit featuring a collage of maple leaves. Furthermore, accessorize carefully, selecting a safety vest in a subtle shade of neon orange that compliments green and brown. Deer recognize style and taste.
Second, take a shower with doe scent soap and splash on that special cologne, eau de doe urine. Your hunting clothes, washed in doe droppings detergent and stored in a vacuum sealed bag, should not come into contact with anything remotely related to humans or their aromas. Therefore, eat at Waffle House and drive to your designated area naked.
Third, since I'm on the subject of hunting grounds, prior to the start of the season, lure deer to the location where you plan to ambush them. Farm for deer by planting several acres of field peas so you can you shoot the vandals when they trespass (serves them right).
Finally, admit to yourself that you will snipe deer, not hunt them. Hunting involves pursuing, chasing, stalking, tracking, and searching for game. But we desire for the quarry to approach you.
Sniping, on the other hand, necessitates purchasing expensive gear, performing proper preparation routines, entrapment, waiting, waiting, waiting, and remaining alert enough at 5 a.m. to discharge an accurate assassination shot.
Oh yeah, before arriving home, wash off the eau de doe, because no matter how your wife insisted she didn't mind you wasting the day in the woods, she's still a woman. And, you know how jealous women can get.