A guide to un­der­stand nu­ances of deer-talk

The Woolwich Observer - - SPORTS - OPEN COUN­TRY

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.

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