I went to NC Hunter Safety School for ten hours this week, and took my exam last night. Managed to pass, and now am certified to be able to kill things safely.
One of the Game Officers used the breaks to tell some stories of Bart, the decoy deer. Bart is a decoy that the Game Officers in Granville County use to catch idiots.
They put Bart up by the side of road, in a field, not near a house. Firing from a road, and especially firing from a vehicle, and hunting after 1/2 hour past sunset....all illegal.
And yet folks see Bart and just go a little nuts. Two stories I remember:
1. Guy in an SUV, wife in passenger seat, baby asleep in car seat in the back. Sees Bart. Apparently very excited. Opens passenger window, reaches around for rifle (apparently in back seat). Leans across wife, props gun on passenger window. Shoots Bart twice. Baby starts screaming. Idiot shoots Bart twice more. Bart, being made of wood and foam, with a deer skin covering, does not fall.
Game Officers come out of ditch on all sides. Wife is slapping at the guy, who is actually trying to get off just one more shot.
Game Officers approach. Guy says, "But, you have to understand. I have never shot a deer before. This would be my first."
Game Officer: "Well, I guess this is your big night for firsts, then. Have you ever been handcuffed?"
2. Bart is just the latest in a long line of Barts. The previous version of Bart was mechanical, and actually moved its head up and down and could wag and lift its little white tail. But earlier Bart had been shot so many times that the gears in the head-moving mechanism were broken. About every ten minutes or so, the gears would catch, and Bart would throw his head. Not very far, mind you, about six inches up and two or three feet to the side; the head would land a little ways from the body. Not something you see very often in a deer in the wild.
Anyway, an idiot drove by one night. He slowed down, drove ahead two hundred yards, and then stopped, presumably to get the rifle out of the trunk and load it. Then back he comes, and parks. Gets out of the car. Jumps down in the ditch, 20 feet from where the Game Officers are hiding, comes up out of the ditch on the other side. Lines up, and gets ready to fire.
And then the gears catch and Bart's head flies off, landing three feet in front of him.
The idiot backpeddles, trips, and falls on his butt at the top of the ditch, slides down headfirst on his back. The gun goes off, but no one is hit.
The Game Officers get up, to try to prevent death-by-moron.
BUT THE GUY DOESN'T HAVE ONE OUNCE OF QUIT IN HIM, NOT WHEN IT COUNTS. He crawls back to the top of the ditch, and TAKES A SHOT AT THE HEADLESS STANDING DEER. IT HAS NO HEAD. WHAT DOES HE THINK HE IS SHOOTING AT?
Mercifully, he was taken into custody. The officer claimed that he believed that not just deer, but also beer, may have been involved in this incident.
Now, I have no doubt that both these stories are in fact urban legends, repeated in the "I was there" fashion that improves their quality. But still, not bad as stories go. Thanks, Officer!
UPDATE: Frequent commenter and KPC pal Tom points out the following similar event. heehee....