Young Ralphie got a good taste of soap after his utterance of the protracted “Fffffuuuuddddgggggeeeeee.” for movie and television viewers in “A Christmas Story,” but we learned that wasn’t what the bespectacled coveter of a Daisy Red Ryder air rifle really said.
After tumping the hubcap filled with lug nuts, young Ralphie’s use of “THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!” shocked his parents. Horrors! Would that prevent him from obtaining the official Red Ryder, carbine action, 200-shot range model air rifle” from Santa? That bothered him but most pressing was getting the bar of Life Buoy out of his mouth.
Ah, if only he’d been able to go to deer camp for a weekend. His mother might have invested in a case of Life Buoy because there are some things, without doubt, at deer camp that will make you cuss. Depending on the level of pain or depth of your surprise, you could exclaim a choice word or rip off a blue streak.
Wasps, Spiders and Snakes
You know they’re there, somewhere, lurking, waiting. Last year in Kansas I found a gorgeous little corn snake in my Primos Double Bull ground blind one afternoon. Aw, what a cutie. Nice colors. And then I thought that big Mama Snake might be nearby, too, if the little one found the shady coolness of the blind to be accommodating. Corn snakes are non-venomous, of course, but seeing anything like that in an enclosed blind might make you yell a bit. Wasps, to me, are more evil. They can fly, and sting, and even if you look really really really really really well all around the blind or shooting house, they probably will be in the one nook or cranny you can’t see. Rile them up and it’s not fun. Spiders just suck. I’m not afraid of them but I just don’t like them. Sort of like artichoke hearts on salad.
WATCH: Is This The Worst Thing Ever?
Thorns, Briars and Locust Trees
The first time I remember cursing in front of my father happened when I smacked my hand against a locust tree. They have spines growing in clumps from the trunk. They are horribly painful, similar to another plant in the Southeast we call the Devil’s Walking Stick. But the locust spines are longer. And I yelped the Queen Mother of Dirty Words as blood ran down my hand and arm. At least the spine didn’t break off.
Thorny vines, briars, blackberry thickets, locust trees — you’ll find these in the Midwest, too, as I did in southeast Kansas hunting a few years ago — and of course everything in Texas, Oklahoma and the desert Southwest has stickers, thorns, spurs or something that hurts. Get some sand spurs in your hand and see if you say golly gee willikers. I’ll bet you won’t.
Forgetting Ammo, Release or Gear
You’ve never done this? Congratulations. Good work on your planning. I actually arrived to hunt one day and realized I had field points on my arrows instead of my broadheads. Since then, I’ve had extra broadheads in my truck box. Ditto for a release and rifle ammo. Yes, you’ll probably forget something at some point. If you can run to a nearby store to buy something or borrow something from a buddy, that’s good. If not, you may curse your dumb planning as you drive home.
Food Plots: Floods, Hogs
You’ve worked all weekend in the summer heat to prep and plant your food plots. The beverages and burgers at camp were great after a hard day’s work. And then the rain you thought was going to be a benefit somehow develops into a freak multi-day event with flooding. Whoosh! There go the seeds. That’s enough to make a man say a bad word or three. Possibly worse, though, is if you have feral hogs and they decide that your food plot is the tastiest snack in the area. Finding rooted plots, giant areas rooted a foot or more deep and wallows in your plots will make you curse all the way to the gun safe for your rifles and ammo to hunt them.
(NOTE: All you folks who don’t have feral hogs but think “Man, that would be AWESOME to have those!” just stop. Stop it. They are horribly destructive, virtually impossible to eradicate and a never-ending problem. You’re crazy and you do not want them.)
Start Walking, You Loser
Man, what a Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah day it’s been while you’re working on trimming roads, fixing stands and getting things done on that Back 40 away from camp. Then your tractor tire goes flat. Or the ATV quits working. Or you run out of gas in the truck because you weren’t paying attention. Guess what? It’s time to walk back, you goofy loser. Stuff happens, though.
You’ve Been Robbed
If there’s a 1-to-10 scale of Deer Camp Cussin’ then this one might peg the needle. Few things are worse than showing up to camp, especially at night if you’ve driven after work, and finding a door ajar and windows broken. Or the door completely ripped off the hinges and lying in the yard. Inside, stuff is gone and whatever’s left is ransacked, destroyed or dumped out just because the mouthbreathing piece of $#*( scumbag jackwads figured it would be fun to rob you and leave a mess. I’ve preached this for years: Install game cameras and don’t bitch about “They’ll steal them, too!” Use your brain and figure out some good spots for the cameras. Deer camp robbers usually aren’t too bright and aren’t thinking about cameras. Photos and video may prove worthwhile to law enforcement officers. You’ll definitely cuss a few times, though. Getting robbed, ugh.
Slam Your Shin on the Trailer Hitch
If you never have done this, after yelping in pain and probably cussin’ a few times and limping and cussin’ some more, you’ll probably want to beat the trailer hitch ball with a bat. Don’t. It’s not going anywhere and the bat would probably hit you in the forehead, which would make you stagger and hit the other shin on the hitch ball. And then you’re really going to cut loose.