Friday, June 7, 2013

Banging Away at the Bucks

A few years ago, I went out to Wisconsin to visit an old high school pal, Gig Winters. Not too swift on the uptake in school, Gig was one of these guys who managed to tie a sheet to his butt and somehow found himself sailing through life without a care. He'd gotten a job as a garbage man straight after he was kicked out of the 11th grade for blowing up toilets with cherry bombs and over the years, the crazy guy managed to inherit the business and make a mint. He spent a HELL of a lot of money in sporting goods stores and spent all of his time screwing around fishing and hunting and drinking beer...lots of it. So, I was a little hesitant when he invited me out for one of his excursions into the hinterlands. I wasn't thrilled at the idea of getting half of my head blown off by my drunken millionaire garbage man dropout pal, but...I said yes. Gig was at the very least a fun guy to be around and I needed a break.

Gig told me on the phone that he had something I needed to see that I wouldn't believe and, you know me, that's the one thing you need to say to me to get me to jump. I was on a plane in 3 hours and in Wisconsin in 5.

We set off in his truck, loaded with about 8 shotguns, some high-powered rifles and about 2 million rounds of ammunition. Gig's buddy Mick was going along for the ride as well. Mick was a bout 5 foot tall, skinny as a rail with coke-bottle glasses on and he smelled a little like Wild Turkey, bacon and cigars. I don't think the guy could see a foot in front of his face even without the half a bottle of Turkey he'd poured down his gullet that morning. Apparently this was Gig's yearly gift to Mick. Once a year, Gig explained as he weaved down the country road we were on, he took Mick out to hunt the very animal that was put on this earth expressly for guys like Mick (read: drunken, blind guys): The Target Speckled Whitetail. You see, this poor sap of an animal was born with actual targets all over it's coat. The damned things have all but gone stark-raving mad, running through the woods like a bunch of maniacs, constantly watching their backs for some trigger happy hunters like they had a "Shoot Me!" sign pasted to their butts. Mick was going to score him one of these if it was the last thing he was going to do.

Well, we made our way north to Lake Hunksahumpkin, stopping every 20 minutes so the drunken fools could empty their bladders and pour another beer down their throats. eventually arriving in one piece (amazing) at Gig's secret campsite. Now, you must be thinking I'm a hell of a fool to be hanging out with these two maniacs but I figured that I better stick around if only to stop these two fools from shooting each other. We set out along the shores, heading for a shallow area where the deer were often found hanging out, looking nervously here and there between sips of lake water. I was a few minutes ahead of Gig and Mick, hoping to get a glimpse of the critters before they got blown to Kingdom-come and sure enough, there they were. It was amazing! There were 6 of them in the shallows, their markings bright in the sun just begging for a bullet. I got my camera out and was setting up a shot when Blind and Drunk, the dynamic duo, stumbled out of the woods burping and giggling. Well, let me tell you, those deer took of running for dear life like a flock of birds and the whole damned world opened up with the Thunder of God as a hail of bullets flew over my head like it was Omaha Beach on D-Day! I hadn't noticed that Gig had given Mick a fully automatic assault rifle with a huge clip and the little guy was opening up a can of hellfire on the lake, his thick glasses shaking on his head as the gun rocked him back against a tree until the clip finally ran out and he crumpled to the ground with that gun smoking like Winston Churchill in a smoking jacket.

The deer were now deep into the woods on the other shore, running for their lives. Unscratched. I guess it happened this way every year, Mick had never bagged a deer in all the years Gig had taken them out and apparently, the ritual now included a laugh-filled trip back to camp and the consumption of many more beverages before a long night's sleep.

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