The Deerslayer

I’ve never really been much of a hunter. Never fired a gun that wasn’t powered by air. Never sat in a tree stand. I’ve fished plenty, but when it comes to hunting, I just haven’t seen the appeal. It’s cold. It can be wet. And you’re killing something at the end of it. I don’t mind other people hunting, but for me, hunting is a lot like ballet. I get that it’s a thing for many people, but it’s not really a thing for me.

That said, deer hunting season did just open in Maine a few days ago, and my Facebook feed has been filled with shots of various successful hunters. Maybe all of those pictures somehow made me jealous. Perhaps deep inside of me was a hunter just waiting to bust out. But when a hunter wants to hunt, and doesn’t have a rifle, what’s he supposed to do?

I had to improvise. And really, which takes more skill: sitting in a tree stand for hours on end waiting for a deer to show up, and then using a deadly weapon specifically designed to kill that deer . . .

Or go hunting the deer on your own, using a weapon no sane person would choose to use?

Like, say . . . a Toyota Prius.

And before any of you naysayers claim there’s no possible way I could successfully hunt down a deer with a battery-powered hybrid vehicle, allow me to remind you of a certain incident seven months ago. The deer got away that time. It wasn’t so lucky this time.

I was just getting in my car for a drive to Waterville for a church meeting, and not a quarter of a mile away from my house, a deer popped up in the road. I’d like to say my killer instincts took over, throwing little things like “fiscal responsibility” to the wind so that I might have a chance of bagging a deer, but in reality, it was all over before I could do much more than try to slam on the brakes.

My headlight was broken. The deer was dead.

In Maine, you’re supposed to arrange for someone to take the deer. (You won’t find any roadkill by the side of the road up here. People take it and eat it. Not after it’s rotting, obviously, but for that deer last night, nothing was wrong with it (other than a lethal blow to its head by my right headlight). The meat was all still good. Why let it go to waste?

I called a friend, called the cops, and forty minutes later, I was back on the road. I’d reloaded, however: I took the Prius back to the house and proceeded out in the Civic.

Would I recommend hunting with a Prius? Not really. At this point, I now have to deal with insurance and repairs, and I’m going to have to pay for a deductible and all that fun stuff. But I can at least say with authority now that if you’re really hard up for a deer, if you just drive around the streets of Maine long enough, chances are you’re going to find one.


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