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Ramblings from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

The snitch

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Every hunter or fisherman is after the same thing—a trophy. The hunter wants a deer/elk/moose/pronghorn that will make Boone and Crocket. The fisherman is after a bass/walleye/trout that he or she can hang on the wall to make others envious. That is where the snitch comes in.

I’m not speaking here of human snitches, although heaven knows that they are bad enough. The human snitch is one who gives out bad information in order to make others fail in their quest to gain their trophies.

I’ve heard it all before. The hunter will say something along these lines: “Well, you can’t eat antlers!” They say this with a straight face, usually while relaxing in their easy chair right under a mounted deer head, or surrounded by mounted racks. They give advice in reams about exactly where you can get that trophy buck. If you have the slightest common sense, you will ignore this as it is certain to make you fail.

Likewise if a fisherman offers to allow you to fish that fishing hole that always produces fish, find another hole. If there were trophy fish there, they’d be fishing the hole themselves.

Contrary to what non-hunters think, a hunter doesn’t just jump up and decide to take off hunting. No. They have a long amount of preparation. If they are hunting this season, the preparation will have begun at the end of last season. They will be out scouting game trails, examining tracks, and looking for peeled saplings. By the time the actual hunt takes place they will have a detailed map of where they plan to hunt stored away in the vast reaches of their mind.

Likewise, fishermen will be scouting fishing holes, scouring the lakes with state of the art fish finders, and examining every dead insect along the banks of their favorite cheek. Their mind is obsessed with actually tying in to a big fish, and no detail is small enough to be simply ignored.

Now comes the snitch. It goes something like this: You have by careful analysis determined the optimum hunting area. You get in before the crack of dawn using every trick in a hunter’s arsenal to ward against betraying your presence to the game you are seeking. This includes camouflage, scents, deer stand, etc. You set up shop and wait for that trophy buck. Then the crows take off chattering all the way.

Cursing the crows, you pray that they haven’t given your position away. You could save that thought, it is far too late. The snitch has been alerted.

About a mile away your trophy buck raises his head, thanking his good friends the crows. He sidles up to a little button buck.

“Pst! Hey, bud. Yes, you. You know, I’m really sorry I teased you about your rack.” He lowers his head to stifle his snort of laughter. “I’m gonna make it up to you, what say? You like apples, right? Well, there’s a good apple tree about a mile over that way.” He gestures with his outstanding rack. “They’re all yours. Bon apatite!”

The button buck falls all over himself thanking the big buck. “Gosh! I thought you didn’t like me! You’re a pal, man!” The button buck dashes off while the trophy buck snickers. The button buck comes right up to you, looking around in vain for the promised apples. The trophy buck cocks his head, listening for the shot. Dang! You passed on the button buck.

Now he goes over to a nice spike buck and repeats his story, using acorns this time, as he knows the spike to love them. The spike offers the excuse that he’s standing ankle deep in acorns at the moment. The trophy pooh-poohs the spike’s answer.

“The acorns down there are much better. If I didn’t have to watch these does, I’d be eating them myself. Then I thought of you. No sense wasting good acorns, is there?” The spike dashes your way, and the trophy listens again for the shot. Blast it! You passed on the spike as well, although it was tempting.

Now the trophy glances around. There is that four-pointer that he thrashed the other day for making eyes at his does. Perfect patsy! He comes up with a new story.

“Pst! Hey, bud! You know that little doe you liked? I saw her go down that way a little while ago. Why don’t you go down and make yourself better acquainted? Yeah, I know I beat you up, but I’m making amends, guy. I’m sorry. She’s waiting down that game trail, about a mile, OK?”

The four-pointer, hormones ablaze, dashes off down the trail. This time, you decide that that’s a pretty good rack and after all, you can’t eat antlers. So you take the shot. The trophy buck fairly dances with glee. Snitching worked, and now he can go about his business in peace. Of course, that’s when your buddy kills him.

Later back in camp, your buddy offers to give you advice on hunting, pointing out that you were only a mile away.

His story of the hunt will always include that fact. “When I got this here trophy buck, ol’ Bob, (if that happens to be your name), was only a mile away. Bob had to settle for a four-pointer while I got this baby! Made Boone and Crocket, don’t ya know?”

Ah, I do believe that it is a felony to shoot hunting partners, even if they insist on telling the same story over and over unless your name happens to be Dick Cheney. But I digress.

Thoroughly disgusted, you grab rod and reel and head off to your favorite fishing hole licking your wounds. A good fishing trip should sooth your frayed nerves. Meanwhile, a trophy bass is sidling up to a mere fingerling and saying:

“Pst! Hey, bud!”

Updated 11-10-2009 at 04:27 PM by Pendragon



  1. mtpspur's Avatar
    This entry was delightful. I have a co-worker who is very into hunting each deer season. He would be delighted by this.
  2. Dark Muse's Avatar
    I say good for the crows. I detest sport hunting. It is vile to gain in pleasure out of taking the life of another living creature just to walk home with a "trophy"
  3. The Comedian's Avatar
    Greatly enjoyed this entry! And pah to the crows!
  4. skib's Avatar
    Despite not being a trophy hunter, this was a magnificent entry Pendragon! The only year I applied for a deer tag, I missed out on a beautiful 6 point muley, but the little 2 point I took tasted like cornfed whitetail. I'm rather glad, because the last trophy animal I ate tasted like a boot.
  5. Virgil's Avatar
    There was a quote that a guy at work uttered after a similar story from a hunter about a buck in heat during hunting season. It has always stuck with me. He said, "It's amazing what a buck will do for a piece of a$$." There's something to be said for human bucks as well.

    Nice story Pen.
  6. AuntShecky's Avatar
    This was great fun to read! I loved the
    colloquial diction, the "local" quality to the subject matter, and the Cheney joke.
    I want to read some more o' your blogs
    right now.
  7. Pendragon's Avatar
    Thank you, one and all! And Muse, the danged crows even disturb those of us who hunt for venison and could care less about a trophy, namely me. The only deer I ever managed to get was a doe, and I spent only 45 minutes from the time I left my car to the time I checked my deer with the game warden and go back home!
  8. motherhubbard's Avatar
    very good, Pen. this explains why my husband is not a great hunger. The only prep work he does is gets the permit. He's taking the kids tomorrow, or one lucky kid anyway. I'm hoping he's lucky. But I'm not holding my breath. A couple of years ago we had a nice bug buck in the back yard just running back and forth. I about fell all over myself trying to get a hold of a gun and all I could find was a pistol. I figured it would have to do and I'm a good shot and it wasn't very far off, maybe 15 yrads. But by the time I got back to the door he was heading over the back hill. I have a rifle hooked above the door to the laundry room now. but, suprise, he hasn't been back.
  9. Virgil's Avatar
    What's a "bug buck," Mother-Hubbard? I'm a city boy.
  10. Dark Muse's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Pendragon
    Thank you, one and all! And Muse, the danged crows even disturb those of us who hunt for venison and could care less about a trophy, namely me. The only deer I ever managed to get was a doe, and I spent only 45 minutes from the time I left my car to the time I checked my deer with the game warden and go back home!
    Hunting for sustainability, that is primarily for the sake of food, is for me quite a different thing than senselessly killing another creature just for bragging rights, and having a head to mount upon the wall.
  11. motherhubbard's Avatar
    a bug buck is a typo. I should have said big buck

    I don't anyone who hunts to senselessly kill another creature for bragging rights. Bragging rights are a bonus. I do know many people who hunt because they enjoy it, but the eat what the kill. Or, they may give the meat to someone else. We eat more deer than beef.
  12. Virgil's Avatar
    I thought a bug buck was something novel slang from down south.

    With the anount of deer rampant in the densely populated northeast, hunting is a necessity, whether for food or sport. There are so many accidents with cars that you would be shocked how many. In New Jersey they let you legally take about nine or ten deer in a season if you count all the different permits (shotgun, bow, muzzle loader, whatever...). Obviously they are great and successful breeders, and given there are no more predators the deer population is unstopable. A work aquaitance had one smash through his windshield and nearly kill his wife who was in the passanger seat. There are deer carcasses along the highway. Hunting is a necessity. Otherwise bring back wolves. I don't hunt by the way if anyone was wondering.
    Updated 11-13-2009 at 05:40 PM by Virgil
  13. motherhubbard's Avatar
    Yes, Virgil, you are right. Have you ever had a deer run into your car? It will wcare the CRAP out of you! We also have a problem with them getting into the garden. Deer love okra. you know what? I do too!
  14. Pendragon's Avatar
    Yeah, we have a problem with too many deer here. The problem is they hang out within town limits, where hunting is forbidden. The amount of car accidents they cause is astounding for animals whose sight is legendary, that is, when you are hunting them. The slightest move and they spot you and make obscene gestures at you with their tail while hauling but outa there! The can't seem to see an oncoming car, however, and jump right out in front of the vehicle.
  15. motherhubbard's Avatar
    You're a little slow in responding You make a great point-I hadn't thought about that.
  16. togre's Avatar
    Nice story, Pendragon. Have you ever read some of the short stories by Patrick F. McManus (sp?)? About half of them are on his legendarily ham-handed attempts to pursue his interest in outdoor sports. Some of his earlier stuff is the best, like A Fine and Pleasant Misery and Never Sniff A Gift Fish.

    Btw, my 79 year-old father is continually amazed at how the wildlife population (including the white-tails) have flourish and grown during his lifetime in Northern Wisconsin. Population management (ie hunting) is an integral part of modern wild-life management.