Deer Hunting with Drones

Deer Hunting with Drones

For hardened Wisconsin deer-hunters, an annual rite of November is to take to the woods, well-armed and severely-schnockered, and engage in some Bambi bloodletting.  Personally, I’ve never hunted, but this year I was determined to join in the fun, courtesy of my latest epiphany:  Using drones for deer-hunting.

I can’t say precisely why I’ve never been one to deer hunt.  Perhaps it was my upbringing.  My father, a man of letters, preferred the warmth of his living room and a good book over a trudge through the woods and a five-hour perch in a deer stand.  He never took me to hunt as a lad.

As I grew, I found myself enjoying the same cozy spoils that kept my father bound to his easy chair:  A good book, a comfy chair, no wind chill.  To further deaden the edge, I’d become a bit of a gourmand, preferring the haute cuisine of Madison’s culinary scene to beef jerky and Miller beer.

Nevertheless, I am a man (albeit one with pink, uncalloused hands), and part of being a man is proving you’re a man to other men.  This is important, as all men monitor the level of their fellow man’s manliness.  It’s like women look at their fellow women’s fashion choices.

I also realized that in the event of the zombie apocalypse, I may have to hunt my own food.  I really needed to learn how to kill something besides a box-elder bug.

Yet despite all the logical reasons why I should join the deer hunt, I simply couldn’t bring myself to leave my cozy little abode.  Thus, I conjured up a new epiphany, one that descended stealthily from the midnight sky:  It was time for deer-hunting with drones.

Deer-Hunting 2.0

I made a phone call to an old friend of mine, Major Payne, a muckety-muck in the U.S. Air Force.  On occasion, Major Payne has hit me up for a covert epiphany, the details of which I really can’t share with you.  Suffice to say, he owed me a favor.

“Hey, Major, do you mind if I borrow one of them thar drones for a weekend? I was hoping to do a little deer hunting up Nort.”

“No worries,” he replied.  “Just remember that if you happen to shell some civilians, announce to the media that you’re deeply saddened by the loss of civilian life.”

“I think Wisconsinites are well aware of the stakes out there in the Northern woods,” I assured him.  “They don’t mind giving up a life or two in the pursuit of the almighty buck.”

Fantistico, I thought as I hung up the phone. Through the miracles of remote-control killing, I could have a fine meal, sip some expensive vino, and slaughter unsuspecting deer-types.  All from the comfort of my own home.

However, I knew that my version of hunting might not score too many points on the manly-man meter.  I had to meet the traditional deer-hunters halfway, so I invited my deer-hunting brother along to partake.

“How ‘bout it?” I called him.  “You and me for a weekend deer-hunting.  It will be great.”

“You?  Kill anything?”

“The Great Lakes will run red with the blood of gunned-down venison,” I snarled.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” he growled.  “I’ll pick you up tomorrow.”

He showed up the next day clad from head to toe in blaze orange.  He’d even dyed his facial hair and eyelashes orange, just in case a fellow deer hunter had mistaken his brown beard for a doe’s derriere.

“Where the f— is your stuff?” he huffed at me, looking disdainfully at my imported car, which he hated with all his being.  “And don’t tell me we’re putting it in that rice burner.”

“Come inside, it’s frigid out here,” my teeth chattered at the numbing forty-seven degree chill. My brother wore seventeen layers of hunting garb, and he was sweating like he’d just run a marathon.

“Screw that.  Let’s load up.  Where’s your gun?”  He began to unload ammo from his 4×4.  Several sub-machine guns, a flame thrower, land mines, and a knife that looked like Sinbad’s scabbard sword.  He swirled the blade through the air in a series of swooshes, one of them so close to my face that it sheared eyelashes.

Somehow, my sphincter held during this terrifying ordeal.  I cleared my throat.  “No, this deer hunting will be in the living room,” I ahemed.  “Prepare yourself for a deer kill like no other.”

Virtual Up Nort

The first leg of most deer-hunting journeys involves thumbing your nose at our nation’s drinking and driving laws and slamming a twelve-pack on the road north, or as Wisconsinites pronounce it, “Nort.”

But instead of tempting fate amidst a convoy of weaving vehicles, my hybrid sat cozy in the garage, and I poured myself and my brother a glass of merlot. “Let’s sit and talk,” I motioned to the comfy furniture.  “Honey,” I called to my wife.  “Could we get some guyere with this?”

My brother actually snarled at my wife, and I realized that women were permitted up Nort only in pornographic pictures.  I shooed her out of the room, and she was all too happy to depart.

To say my brother was upset with my idea of “hunting” was an understatement, and I’m not sure why.  To simulate the cold, I had lowered the thermostat down to 68.  To recreate a sense of nature, I tuned us to the Nature channel.  I had even covered my legs with a blaze orange afghan to show I was properly attired.

But my brother was getting itchy for some action.  Itchy as in trigger-finger.  It was time to bring in the big guns.

Dispatching the Drones

I powered up the Drone video terminal that Major Payne had given me, and flipped my brother a joystick.  “Lock and load, baby,” I snarled, and a small salivatory line of drool slipped out the side of my mouth.

I briefly explained what we would be doing, and then described the ample armature.  The promise of destruction seemed to please my brother, and he cracked a Miller and stripped off a layer of orange.

We dispatched the drones, and flew out.  Major Payne had provided us with abundant payloads, and we employed night vision and satellite imagery to survey the landscape.

The satellite feed was crystal-clear, and I pointed out a cluster of five deer all within two hundred yards of each other.  Unfortunately, there were also a few deer hunters in the vicinity.  Either they’d suffered heart attacks in their deer stoops, or had passed out from too much brandy.  It didn’t really matter; when you hunt, the bullets fly, and the consequences fall where they may.

I unleashed my payload, and the TV screen flared with light.  “Touchdown!” my brother shouted.  He slammed his beer, then shot-gunned a bottle of merlot and smashed it against his forehead.  He was getting into the spirit of it.

When the bright lights cleared, the satellite feed indicated I had laid waste to fourteen square miles of woodlands.  My unofficial kill count registered on the side of the TV: 24 deer, 17 fox, 115 rabbits, 14 homes, 25 deer-hunters, and 2,105 squirrels.

“Damn, I missed!” I shouted.

“Let’s do it again!” my brother squealed.

For the rest of the evening, my brother and I proceeded to dive-bomb much of northern Wisconsin.  By the end of the night, we’d annihilated ¾ of the deer herd, as well as ⅘ of the people hunting them.

As you’d expect, the media made a big deal about people getting killed, and some neighbors got all bent out of shape about their log cabins being incinerated and their children and spouses being blown to pieces.  But many were impressed by the amount of deer kills we rang up.  As I said before, we Wisconsinites are willing to accept collateral damage as we pursue the almighty Buck.

In the end, the Major shut us down.  While he appreciated the dexterity with which my brother and I had operated his killing-machines, he was getting some heat from the locals.  “We can blame this on Al Qaida,” he said.  “But that’s going to count as your Mulligan.  Afraid I’m going to have to take back the joysticks.”

We understood, and we didn’t care.  The Major’s hardware had done their job, providing me with the means to join real-men like my brother in an all-out death spree.  It had also left me with plenty of fresh kill for my freezer.  Anyone know what wine goes with venison?

Photo by James Preston

Comments

  1. I feel grossly inadequate at this time of year. All my friends’ husbands and their kids are out killing stuff, and we are indoors, um, reading books. Now I know that at least I can commiserate with you Greg!

  2. How come when I search alterthecourse.com on google it does not come to the top.
    Bastards!!!! Makes ya wanna drop a duece.

    • Greg Mischio says

      I believe the Google offices are in Mountain View, California. I would recommend visiting them and dropping a deuce in their lobby to show your frustration.

  3. Hahaha Fantastico Miss you guys : )

  4. Likelikelikelike

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