Sigmund Freud is recognized for having discovered and described some of the primitive and powerful desires that animate the human psyche. Among these are the Oedipus complex, the sex drive, the birth wish, and the death wish. He also recognized his patients’ deep foreboding that their treatment would not be covered by insurance.

But, being a city boy, he missed the big one—the Deer Imperative, a drive so strong that at certain times of the year it displaces all other thoughts.

If, like me, you are subject to DI, right now your first and last thoughts of the day are of deer. Below is the simple diagnostic tool I developed to help you determine if you have a problem:

Check the box in front of any question that routinely comes to mind when exiting a vehicle or building:

How far away is the nearest deer? In which direction? What is it doing right now? Why aren’t I there instead of here?

If you checked two boxes, you’re at risk. If you checked three boxes, you should seek professional help. If you checked four boxes, you shouldn’t even be reading this. You need to be in the woods.

Right now the Deer Imperative is approaching its annual zenith. At this time of year, I spend all my waking hours either hunting, thinking about deer, or thinking about the next time I can go hunting. But I have responsibilities, which I take seriously the rest of the year. These include making a living, trying to be a good parent, and maintaining a relationship with a woman. During deer hunting season, it is necessary that I give the appearance of taking them seriously. But I’m really thinking about deer.

Today’s blog, for example, may seem to have something of a phoned-in quality.

Do I care about this? Sure. A little.

But not as much as I care about figuring out the next time I can go hunting.

This post is now about 375 words long. I don’t know whether I can sneak it past my editor or not. But here’s what I do know: If I leave now I can be in my stand by 4 p.m.