A guide to understand nuances of deer-talk
THE GREAT THING ABOUT the deer season is that, in one way or another, everyone gets to participate – either as a hunter or as a person who gets cornered by a hunter who has a story to tell.
Sadly, however, those who do not hunt are left to their own devices. They don’t understand the deer-hunter language. As a result, all sorts of misunderstandings occur and non-hunters are left with an unrealistic impression of what a deer hunt is all about.
With that in mind, here is a beginner’s guide to understanding what a deer hunter is actually trying to say. Let’s begin with the most common statements first.
We shot three deer: This is a roundabout way of admitting, “I didn’t shoot any.” You see, whenever a hunter shoots a deer, he or she will immediately say something like, “I shot one deer, which inspired the other guys to get two more.”
So? Did you get your deer?: This translates to
“You are about to hear the story of how I got my deer.” Immediately thereafter, or perhaps even during your response, that person will break into the saga about how the glorious animal was taken.
I saw a deer but decided to let it pass: This is deer hunter speak for, “A deer ran by me while I was playing Angry Birds.”
I chose not to shoot: Could either mean “My rifle was unloaded” or “My trigger lock was on and I left the key at camp” or “I couldn’t find the safety.”
I’m not a trophy hunter: The person who utters these words is about to show you a cell phone photo of a small buck or doe he or she tagged.
I made a nice shot and took one at 300.: Unless that hunter specifically adds yards or metres to the end of that sentence, they are referring to inches or centimetres.
We saw a real nice buck and the new guy had never shot a deer before, so I let him have the shot …: When you hear a sentence end like this, it’s only because it’s too painful for the hunter who is uttering it to continue. If he or she was able to do so, he or she would add ... “but I was hoping he’d miss.”
I spent each morning quiet as a church mouse: This roughly translates to “I had a real good nap every morning.”
I prefer not to hunt out of tree stands: Means “I’m terrified of heights.”
We don’t care if we shoot anything. It’s all about the camaraderie: We didn’t see any stupid deer so we played cards.
I had one good chance but my scope was knocked out of alignment: What the hunter doesn’t say is that this happened after he missed three consecutive shots at a nice buck at ten paces.
We brought our kids along to pass on the tradition: This really means “Everyone else has already heard our stories” or “We need people with strong young backs to drag out our deer.”
I explored a lot of new country: This typically translates to, “I still don’t know how to use my @#$! GPS.”
I took the opportunity to show the new guy how to field dress a deer: This means, “I didn’t want to get any blood on my new hunting shirt.”
There, now hopefully we can understand each other a little better.