This is the deer-hunting season and I have some tips for surviving it for both hunters and innocent bystanders, along with some general deer-hunting lore:

If somebody’s house is in your line of fire try to make sure it’s the house of somebody who’s old or despondent and doesn’t have much to live for anyway.


It isn’t considered an acceptable deer-hunting ambition to kill a sufficient number of horned deer to make one of these wilderness-lodge antler chandeliers. Leave those to the professionals.

It isn’t considered sporting to shoot a deer when it is gamboling. Wait until it is finished.


Deer seldom offer rejoinders.

Deer don’t build or live in nests. They live in caves or bowers, the way we used to when we were all still nomads, or sometimes in abandoned pup tents or RVs. They are worse on an RV than trailer trash.


Deer aren’t given to frivolity, though they do joust, tournament-style.

Don’t take your vehicle onto a public highway in south Arkansas in November or December if it has a deer, a moose, an elk, a longhorn steer, or some other quadruped painted on the side of it or the back of it or the front of it. Unless you want the vehicle to come out looking like a giant colander.

If you’ve never eaten deer chili, take only a small portion the first time. Just enough so you can spit it discreetly into a napkin.

If you are injured while deer hunting — by being shot by another hunter, say —don’t expect the deer to take pity and telephone or radio for help. They won’t stop and help you change a flat tire either.


If you are out deer hunting and see a fleet creature approaching and can’t decide whether it is a deer or a Trailways Bus, don’t shoot if you can see passengers inside.

If you change your mind about hunting deer just after you’ve squeezed off a lethal round, mouth-to-mouth is not the way to go.

If you rub fresh venison into an open wound expecting a miraculous cure, you should have your head examined.

If you’re out in the deer woods and see a rainbow, it doesn’t necessarily mean there are deer in the vicinity. Or a pot of gold.

When deer are “harvested,” it doesn’t mean they are plucked up out of the ground or run over with a mechanical cottonpicker; it merely means shooting them.

The best deer repellent is Rush Limbaugh. They just hate him, and though science can’t explain why, it doesn’t need to.

Attempts by bored or creative hunters to lasso deer are seldom successful, unless the deer are plastic decorative yard art or domesticated zoo deer or the taxidermied heads of deer on a wall somewhere.

Don’t attempt to entice a deer with chocolate.

Don’t drive along the public roadways in south Arkansas during deer-hunting season with your head ducked down below the dashboard to avoid rifle bullets coming through the windshield or side windows, peeking up quickly from time to time to see where you’re going and then ducking back down. This isn’t a good survival strategy because rifle bullets can just as easily penetrate your car doors and kill you anyway. Death is just omnipresent out there during deer-hunting season.


All things considered, if you just have to be out and about during the deer-hunting season, your vehicular best bet is a tank.

Don’t attempt to lure a horned buck deer into shooting range by torturing its mate or offspring or colleagues and then broadcasting the amplified tormented cries. This is considered bad sportsmanship except by some contemporary CIA types.

Venison sushi is usually served that way because the deer camp cook got drunk and forgot to build a fire under the skillet.

Deer just don’t “get” the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

Deer don’t think it’s funny when you shoot at them with blanks.

The sex pref policy of deer is definitely not don’t ask don’t tell. They will let you know. But the rut is mainly obligatory activity with them. They’d rather just watch TV, or lick salt.

Also, just because deer eat farkleberries doesn’t make them gay.

A deer call is a useful deer-hunting tool. It is nowhere near the same thing as a turkey caller, and it doesn’t consist of shouting, “Here! Deer!” or “Yo! Bambi!” or “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”

You should be leery of a menu entry called “deer tips.”

Deer are said to be ticklish, but that might just be anthropomorphism, or PETA propaganda.

Charleton Heston didn’t say, “The only good deer is a dead deer,” but he did say, “Sure, deer in the wildwoods are pretty things, but you can’t trust ’em.”

The character of deer is much changed from yesteryear when great herds of them rumbled like the fabled buffalo herds across the landscape hereabout. Those yore deer fancied themselves bullies and toughs. Their descendants of today are the very embodiment of meekness.

It moves into the Freudian when you begin to think deer are laughing at you.