For well over a dozen years while out cruising the internet, I’ve been using the same picture of a cute smiling me when I was four years old as an avatar everywhere I go. Keeps people guessing. How can someone so cute be such an ass at times.
I grew up, the picture didn’t.
That’s me on the left. The monkey sitting next to me is my brother and, yes, he eventually grew into those ears quite handsomely.
The other day I decided to change the picture on my Facebook profile to something more recent. I don’t allow many pictures of me to be taken any more, but this one was taken by my daughter and I kind of like it.
It started up the usual smartass comments from so called friends, but then Nicholas Kriho said, “Needless to say, you didn’t do any successful deer hunting for at least a month after that photo was taken.”
I replied, “Deer are drawn to the cigar smell. The things walk up on me all the time. Or, I smell like a deer.”
I actually think about this fairly often when I’m out and about. We all know how we’re supposed to cleanse ourselves of any kind of odor when heading out deer hunting. We’re even supposed to douse ourselves with all kinds of foul smelling stuff to attract deer.
This flies in the face of what I’ve learned.
The first and only time I’ve hunted deer was out in Virginia. My back won’t allow me to go climbing around in trees, so I built myself a ground blind and then sat there, for hours. It was grueling. Of course I had to smoke a couple of cigars while sitting around doing nothing. I justified this by convincing myself the deer were all upwind of me.
Sure enough, a deer came out of nowhere, stood there giving me a clean shot, so I took it. I always thought that was odd and I know I’ve mentioned it to others when the topic of deer hunting has come up.
Over the years I’ve walked up on, and have had deer walk up on me, hundreds of times while out fishing rivers and just wandering around in the woods. I’m always smoking a cigar, can’t help myself. Recently, these four hung out waiting for me to walk by before they made a dash across the river.
Another recent venture through the woods had me eyeball to eyeball with the biggest deer I had ever seen. Had been smoking a cigar the whole time and it seemed to not care one way or the other.
This happens all the time. On islands, off wandering around in the woods, out squirrel hunting and always with me smoking a cigar. You would think the deer could smell me coming and would keep their distance or hunker down and turn invisible like deer seem to be able to do.
It was this train of thought today after the comment that Nicholas made that finally made the little bells go off in my head.
Deer are used to smelling smoke.
At least around here. They have to be, I smell smoke all the time. All the houses around me have fireplaces and all their yards have fire pits. There’s always someone burning something. I can smell smoke coming from the homes on the other side of the ravine, a good half mile away. There are always deer hanging out around the ravine.
Not far away, the farm fields start. At times I can see and smell the smoke a mile away, coming from the brush piles being burned off by some farmer some where. I see deer all the time, cruising these fields and walking along the tree lines. This time of year it’s not unusual to see and smell a smoky haze traveling down the Fox River below my house. And there are the deer wandering along the river.
I enjoy these smells of smoke, I find them comforting somehow. The deer have to think something of these smells too.
So that has to be it. The deer are used to the smoke smells. When I go wandering around in the river and through the woods smoking away on one of my cigars, they must think nothing of it. They smell it all the time.
Now I have to get the deer trained. When they smell me coming, puffing away on one of my cigars, they show up with a little keg of cognac hanging from their necks.
And I’ll promise not to shoot them.