By David Draper
If there has ever been a government agency more reviled and renounced that the Internal Revenue Service, it's the Transportation Security Administration. Tasked with making flying safer, the TSA has instead made a trip to the airport nothing short of a miserable nightmare. Overbearing and seemingly incongruous rules (Why can I keep my belt on at some airports but not others? Why is 3 ounces of shampoo deemed safe, but 4 ounces potentially deadly?) create what is at best an illusion of safety.
Now personally, I've haven't had much problem with the TSA. Mostly it's just the inconvenience that's annoying, but I have had a couple things come up missing out of my checked bags the past few years, including a hunting knife. Proving they were stolen is impossible, but I have my suspicions. However, Field & Stream contributor and Mid-South Rut Report Will Brantley recently lost something more important than that to what he suspects is the TSA – nearly a cooler full of deer meat. Brantley carefully prepped and froze the meat from his first-ever mule deer, packed it into a cooler, taped it shut and entrusted it to the airline (and ultimately, the TSA) for the return trip to Kentucky. What he got instead when he picked up his luggage when he landed was a cooler nearly empty of its contents. We both believe somewhere between Denver and Kentucky an unscrupulous TSA agent or baggage ape is enjoying some fresh mule deer backstraps this week.