20 Dumb Things You Can Do on a Hunt

When you get tired of competence, good sense, and good manners, liven up your time afield with these tactics

Hunting mistakes
A classic from the F&S archives. Courtesy USFWS

1. Give your friend’s dog some in-the-field coaching.

If the mutt’s so dull his fur aches, it’s your duty to coach him. And besides, you can always make new friends.

2. Before the hunt starts, tell your outfitter what a hell of a shot you are.

He may believe it. He’ll also believe you’re a moron.

3. You never exercise, but you know you’re in shape, so you don’t work out before your elk hunt.

No problem; the elk don’t work out either.

4. Leave the duck blind to make a call during prime shooting hours.

Guess what’s going to be overhead the minute you do?

5. Put your long-john bottoms on backward.

Do I have to paint you a picture?

6. Give the airline ticket agent a hard time about your guns.

Everyone will be impressed, including the security agent who takes you away for questioning.

7. Put off signing your license until you get something on the ground.

That should be just about the time the game warden steps out of the bushes.

8. Go on a true wilderness hunt without a spare scope.

After yours breaks, it shouldn’t take you more than two or three days’ travel to get a new one.

9. Treat the outfitter, the wranglers, the guides, and the cook like servants.

And to be thorough, smack your horse hard across the nose before you mount up.

10. If something goes wrong on a hunt, complain loudly and often.

Why not? It’s not your fault.

11. You get a deer, but your friend Albatross gets a much bigger deer, so you sulk.

As well you should. Life has been unfair to you.

12. You are the only one in the party who doesn’t get anything, so you really sulk.

See No. 11.

13. On a bird hunt, you pick up someone’s shotgun without asking permission.

And after you do it, point out that yours is better.

14. The lodge at which you’re staying has very strict rules about gun safety. You take personal offense at them because you’ve been hunting for years.

Experienced hunters never have accidents.

15. Fail to harness yourself into your tree stand.

The ground isn’t all that hard.

16. Neglect to deal with the leak in your bottle of “Wood Pussy Enchantment” odor masker.

You can sleep outside for the rest of the hunt.

17. Believe the label that says your poly underwear fights odor.

See No. 16.

18. Attempt to walk back to camp in heavy fog in mountain country at night.

Someone will eventually find what’s left of you.

19. Wear your lucky red bandanna and blue cap when you’re turkey hunting.

It’s okay; gobbler heads are avocado and puce.

20. Your compass says camp is this way, but you trust your sense of direction instead.

Your friends won’t mind forming a search party; the poker game was played out anyway.

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