The Rut

We are well into what looks to be a fairly successful deer season. At the debating table at the Bakery in Rainy River, this month has been filled almost exclusively with tales of the great hunting prowess of those gathered round this fount of knowledge.

“It was a 12-pointer with tines over eleven inches long and the rack was about this high,” stated Moose, holding his hand a good two feet over the table. The looks of genuine disbelief around the table were uniform.

“Dropped him with one shot. Right through the eye at 120 yards,” he continued and to prove his point he whipped out his digital camera and set it to scroll through a bunch of shots displaying the truly impressive trophy.

“Amazing what you can enhance with Photoshop,” I observed, well aware of Moose’s previous digital exploits.


“Enhanced, my foot! Look at the fat cover in that neck. This was a prime buck in full rut!” shot back Moose, insulted anyone should make light of his hunting exploits.

“Humph! What are you going to do with the meat? It’ll be so full of testosterone and other hormones, it’ll have you bouncing off the walls. I bet your wife will lock the bedroom door,” declared the Runt, whose gentle nature had him hang up the rifle decades ago. He held out his cup for another refill and glanced longingly at Cousin It’s toast.

“Well she probably will lock the bedroom door… but not until she has me cornered in there,” snorted Moose letting out a worthy impression of a rutting buck.

“Where’s Pickle? Hasn’t he filled his tag yet?” I wondered noting his unusual absence.

“Oh you know Pickle. He’s always looking for one with a bigger rack. He’ll probably strike out again this year,” observed the Runt, wise in the ways of his fishing partner.

“What’s his excuse this year?” I wondered familiar with his creative thought processes.

“Up till last week, it was too warm. This week it was so cold he kept making too much noise trying to keep warm while in the tree stand. Those wooden shoes don’t have much insulation value,” observed Moose cannily, licking the last of the peanut butter off his whiskers.

“Well, you can get lots of tags with all the deer around. Why doesn’t he just buy another tag and take a small one, and then wait for a trophy buck. It’s better than getting skunked,” I observed as I made the rounds with the coffee pot.

“Pickle BUY another tag!?” snorted the table in unison. I forgot who we were discussing- the holy grail of frugality.

Just then Dan the man went cruising slowly up the street with a massive rack showing above the box.

“Will you look at that?”, “ It must be an eighteen pointer!”, “Maybe it’s an elk/whitetail hi-bred”, “He better not have shot it on my place!”, were just some of the torrent of comments as the entire table crowded to the window as Dan made another slow pass up the street.

I stayed in my chair, cool and unimpressed.

“What’s it take to get you excited, Elliott?” queried Moose astonished at my apparent lack of interest.

“I already saw it on my walk down this morning,” I explained as I paid my bill and headed for the door.

“Well how much did it weigh?” “Where’d he get it?” were just a couple of the comments directed at my retreating figure.

“Hard to say,” I smiled back as a storm of speculation swirled over the debating table. And it was an honest answer.

I had earlier seen Dan artfully tying that old trophy rack to the back of his truck so it just showed above the box.

The debating table deserved a little stimulation.