So whenever I think about guided hunting tours, I think about the story “The Most Dangerous Game.” What, you don’t think about that when you think of guided hunting tours? Because you know what the most dangerous game was, don’t you? It’s a tricky title. It’s a GAME, in that there was CHASING and someone had the potential to WIN, but also, “game” is also a thing that is HUNTED and the MOST DANGEROUS GAME is…dun dun dunnnn…MAN. You read this story in school, right? If not, here. The whole thing is online. (Is that legal? I don’t even know.) It’s worth a read if you haven’t read it. It’s also the story that spawned a billion movies/TV movies/episodes of television.
Anyway, as I’ve mentioned, Dad’s on a guided hunting tour so he can kill all the moose in New Found Land. EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM. He is with friend B. and friend R. Friend R. was, when I was growing up, Uncle R. Because in the Lucy’s Football family, we called adults that were not actually members of our family “aunt” and “uncle,” out of respect, I assume. (Mom says that was because she thought it would be too confusing for us to call adults by their given names when we were children. Mostly, it was confusing because I grew up thinking R. was Dad’s brother when really he was just his BFF and he grew up across the street from him and he’s known him his whole life. How cute is that? The most, is how much.) Anyway, Uncle R. became just R. when I got old and it got too weird to be calling someone “Uncle” someone. Although in my head I still call him Uncle R. and I have to make myself not call him Uncle R. because when you learn something when you are little, it’s beaten into your head.
Anyway, Dad and BFF R. and friend B. who he used to work with have headed off to New Found Land and yesterday I spoke to him and he was IN New Found Land. Right before he left, he said, “Hey! You can check out the website for the tour I’m on!” so I DID and I SAVED it and now we can LOOK AT IT TOGETHER. I’m a sharer, you guys. I like you to be able to share with me.
Oh, there are going to be dead animals here. I’m sorry if that upsets you. I’m not anti-hunting (mainly because I grew up in a family that does it RESPONSIBLY, and follows the LAW, and EATS what they hunt, and doesn’t WASTE anything, and also game meat was the main source of our protein as a kid so I can’t really complain – listen, I was not a rich kiddo, much like I’m not a rich grownup-o) but all these dead animals were a little sad to me. I said, “DAD. Why don’t they have any LIVE animals on this site?” and Dad was all, “what kind of hunting site would have LIVE animals on it? The people looking at it would think no one ever got any good kills on the tours. You HAVE to show dead animals. If they were all ALIVE, they’d think this was the worst tour company ever. It’s not a ZOO, Amy.” Then I giggled and giggled over “good kill” and he got grumpy and told me to talk to Mom.
So! Let’s go visit West Woods Outfitters! Where you can hunt in New! Found! Land!
This is a very manly site. Here is what you can expect: “Our exclusive but affordable hunting trips are almost guaranteed to give you the experience of a lifetime. With our rugged landscape and highly knowledgeable guides, you are sure to come home with a bunch of memories and a few extra meals. Big game hunting is our true passion and we pride ourselves on being one of Canada’s premier Hunting destinations.”
I am confused about the capital “H” on that hunting right there. Also, you’re coming home with some extra meals? Do they mean game meat, or are they packing you some sandwiches for the ride home? Also, the word “rugged” makes me laugh. SO RUGGED. These people shave with STRAIGHTRAZORS and SPIT and PEE OUTDOORS, dammit.
Things I learned about where Dad is staying:
- “You can drive right to our door in a pickup!” (Shit. I can’t bring the Taurus? I’m not coming. I don’t even HAVE a pickup. Do I have to buy a pickup? That’s sure as hell gonna be pricey.)
- At daybreak Monday morning your hunt begins. (What if I miss daybreak due to a leisurely breakfast and marathon Twitter session? It’s been known to happen.)
- The guide to hunter ratio is 1-2, however, as the week progresses and more animals are bagged, the ratio becomes 1-1. (This perplexes me. Does this mean that they kill off the hunters once animals are – heh – “bagged?” WHAT HAPPENS TO THE HUNTERS WHO HAVE “BAGGED?”)
- The hunting lodge was built in 1993. It has indoor plumbing with showers, TV, and VCR. It is very comfortable with a large living area, five bedrooms with bunk style quarters, a fully equiped kitchen and eating area, and two bathrooms. (How many hunters for these two bathrooms? I’m going to need one of these bathrooms all for myself. Sorry, fellas. Also, the spelling errors here are theirs, not mine. Please know this. AND, what are they watching on this totally state-of-the-art VCR? Because I like to imagine them all sitting around watching “The Cutting Edge” and all screaming “TOE PICK!” and then weeping, or something. I AM TOTALLY GIGGLING AT THIS THOUGHT RIGHT NOW.)
- Under “items you should bring,” it says “firearm.” Hee! I think it’d be funny if you didn’t bring one. “What! I thought that was PROVIDED. This is the WORST TOUR EVER. Wait, I can’t wrestle the moose to the ground with my BARE HANDS?”
Now let’s learn about moose hunts.
“The moose hunting in our region is excellent…using a rifle or a bow. This majestic animal will challenge your hunting skills and provide you with life long memories. We have a near 100% success rate on moose hunts.”
I like that dot dot dot “using a rifle or bow.” So, using a knife, your teeth, a slingshot, or a trebuchet is not as successful, then. Good to know. I don’t know that I could get my trebuchet across the border or on the ferry, anyway.
Also, I have to ask, if it’s so majestic, why do we want to slaughter it? OK. Just had to get that out of my system, then. Good. (I’m a big fan of moose. One time I saw a herd of elk super-close to my face? And elk and moose are very similar in Amy’s head. This was outside of my workplace on a really snowy day when I lived out west. And I was so amazed I forgot to breathe. They were AMAZING. And so big and beautiful and…shit, yeah, majestic. I couldn’t kill something like that. I was so in love with them I watched them frozen with wide eyes for about ten minutes while they quietly grazed and then they calmly strolled away with their steamy elk-breath coming out of their elk-noses. SO BEAUTIFUL.)
Oh, wait, here’s what you’re watching on the cutting-edge VCR: “( Feel welcome to bring any previous hunting trip tapes for evening viewing!).” Hunting trip tapes? Someone’s making tapes of hunting trips? Oh, well, THAT’D be a fun watch. I CAN BARELY WAIT.
“Newfoundland moose hunting needs to be experienced to understand the unique pleasure of stomping though woods and bogs in pursuit of the most impressive animal in North America.” Oh, well, this DOES sound like a pleasure. All that stomping and bogging. But I don’t know that moose are the MOST impressive animal in North America. Dumbcat’s pretty impressive. He RUNS into WALLS with his HEAD, you guys. Then he HISSES at the walls. To show them he is not daunted. Also, yesterday he fell asleep and snored so loud he scared himself, and woke himself up, and then MEOWED AT HIMSELF. If that’s not impressive, I don’t know what that word means.
Now we will learn about CARIBOU.
When I saw on the site there was caribou huntery I was all “DAD NO NO NO PLEASE DON’T KILL THE CARIBOU” and he was like “what? No. MOOSE, Amy,” and I said, “Because I don’t think you should kill reindeer, how will Santa’s sleigh get around?” and Dad said, “Caribou and reindeer are not the same thing” but in my head they are. Wait, let’s investigate this.
Here is a caribou.
Look at his antlers! I like this caribou. He has a strong neck to hold up those antlers. They are HUGENORMOUS!
Here is a reindeer.
This looks a LOT like that caribou. Do you think the internet knows what the difference between the two is? I bet Andreas would, but it’s currently 1:12am in Finland and he’s sound asleep. I don’t think he’d appreciate me waking him up to ask “ANDREAS ANDREAS ANDREAS WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A REINDEER AND A CARIBOU ANDREAS!?!?!?” And he would say, “Amy. You are aware I HAD A NEW BABY TWO WEEKS AGO AND I DON’T GET ANY SLEEP, RIGHT?” and then I would feel TERRIBLE.
WELL LOOK WHAT I FOUND DAD!!!
“The reindeer (Rangifer tarandus), also known as the caribou in North America, is a deer from the Arctic and Subarctic, including both resident and migratory populations.”
THEY ARE THE SAME THING, DAD!!!
Ha. I WIN INTERNETTING. Anyway, I love reindeer, because when I was little, my parents took me (and wee baby Amy’s Brother) to Santa’s Workshop, where I was forced to sit on Santa’s lap and that was terrifying and I made a really scared face. Here, I talked about that once, you can see wee Amy petrified of Santa. Anyway, I love reindeer BECAUSE the day that photo was taken, at that very PLACE, I got to see reindeer for the first time. And they were so furry and nice and they TOTALLY wanted you to touch them! But there were all these SIGNS that said “DO NOT TOUCH THE REINDEER HORNS.” But they had VELVET on them! And I wanted to touch the velvet! (I wanted to touch everything then, I want to touch everything now. I’m oddly tactile. Some things never change.) And I knew well enough to read the signs and know I wasn’t allowed to touch the horns, but OH did I want to touch the horns. And Dad KNEW I wanted to touch the horns. So Dad picked Wee Amy up and was all, “You touch those horns. Just be gentle. Don’t hurt the reindeer. And don’t let that guy that works here see you, we’ll get kicked out and your mother will be FURIOUS at me.” So I quickly (and VERY gently) touched the reindeer horns and as an adult that kind of sums my dad up for me. He would have done anything, absolutely anything, up to and including risking getting his entire family kicked out of Santa’s Workshop, to see me happy. I like to remind him about the reindeer sometimes. It makes him all proud of young-Amy’s-Dad.
Anyway, so I love reindeer, because they remind me of the time Dad let me break the rules to touch their velvety antlers. (Oh, it felt like velvet. Like warm velvet. And the reindeer totally let me touch it. They didn’t mind even a little bit. They were very accommodating.)
So now we know caribou and reindeer are the same thing, and so therefore no one should kill them. Also, DAD, I WIN. I TOLD YOU THEY WERE THE SAME. You wait til he gets back into cell phone range. You just wait. I’m going to tell him this tidbit of information SO HARD.
So even though Dad isn’t hunting caribou, SOMEONE at this place is. Look!
“The woodland caribou is a challenging, tough animal. Its favorite habitat is muskegs, bog forests and grassy areas. Unlike its cousin the barren ground caribou, of Labrador and Quebec which migrate over great distances and in large numbers, the woodland caribou tend to remain in the same general area and gather in smaller numbers. Woodland are heavier, stockier and their antlers are more compact and have more mass. They are darker in color overall but adult males have beautiful white capes during the fall.We hunt caribou primarily by spotting and stalking…this challenges the skills of our hunters. ”
Is “muskegs” a word? Let’s see. Yes! It is! It’s acidic soil. Also known as bogland. Huh. Who thought I’d learn anything from the hunting tour site? Also, muskegs is a very funny word. Also, “spotting and stalking.” Hee! I like to imagine the hunters all “shh” and prowling around and shit. Listen, Dad’s made me watch hunting shows before. That’s what they do on those shows. And when I mock them, Dad makes me leave the room. “YOU HAVE TO BE QUIET WHEN YOU WATCH THESE,” he hisses. “DAD,” I say. “I DON’T THINK ME MOCKING THEM WILL SCARE OFF THE DEER, AS I AM NOT THERE RIGHT NOW AND THE DEER CANNOT HEAR ME.”
Also, why are we killing something with a “beautiful white cape?” I don’t approve of that. I like their fashion choices.
You can also hunt bears, but for some reason the bear page is not very long or entertaining and doesn’t have statistics like “95% kill rate” so I think that means they don’t have much success killing the bears. YOU GO BEARS!
There are also testimonials. Here are some.
“Second time as good and better than first time. Pete (#1 guide for sure) is not paid enough. He has no heart because he hunted it out off me. I will be back in 2003.” I don’t understand the heart comment. Pete, the guide, has no heart, because…he hunted it off the commenter? Well, wouldn’t that mean he has TWO hearts, then? Hmm. Also, this guy never commented again; I can only assume that means he died. Having no heart will do that to you.
“Had a great time hunting, got moose first day out. Thirteen-point bull will be back.” No, I don’t think the thirteen-point-bull WILL be back, as he’s DEAD because you KILLED him. Maybe his GHOST will be back, and will haunt you for all eternity, though. One can only hope. Oh, for those of you who DIDN’T grow up with ALL HUNTING TALK ALL THE TIME, “thirteen-point-bull” means a male animal with thirteen points on his antlers. You’re welcome. Don’t say I never taught you anything.
“Dion guided us; second day we both got nice bulls. Dion is a handful, plenty of bullshit, gets excited easy; just remember to give him shit back. Food was excellent, good job everyone.” HA HA DION! Dion, such a bullshitter. Gets excited easy. Will probably try to get into your bunk after watching some of those totally randy hunting videotapes. YOU JUST GIVE HIM SHIT BACK.
“First time moose and caribou hunting. Dion was my guide and gets a little excited when moose is seen; shoot, shoot, shoot again. Got moose first day and caribou second day, one hell of a guide. Don’t listen to Jamie, Grace is a great cook, Westwood’s is #1 in my book.” WHAT IS HAPPENING AT THIS PLACE. Dion’s like an overexcitable weirdo with a gun – or IS it a gun? OR IS IT A EUPHEMISM??? – and apparently Jamie’s badmouthing Grace. I’m a little worried about my dad.
“This was a great time; saw more moose in 4 days than 15 years of moose hunting. This is a great operation. Grace did a marvelous job and is a wonderful ladie. Pius almost killed me; this whole province is uphill with the wind always in your face. Went up and shook hands with God on the face of the moon.” I think there’s a possibility that this guy got lost in the woods and ate some magic mushrooms. “Went up and shook hands with God on the face of the moon?” Um. I don’t…um. Also, his spelling of “ladie” made me laugh because it reminded me of Ken.
— Ken Macbeth (@lahikmajoe) October 23, 2012
(This is probably only funny if you understand he says “laydees” like this a lot, and it always, randomly, without fail, makes me giggle. No, I don’t really have an explanation for it, either.)
“Thanks for everything; I had a wonderful hunt getting my Grand Slam with Dion.” WHOA. Now we’re DEFINITELY using EUPHEMISMS about the shenanigans Dion gets up to! “Grand Slam!” Oh, that bullshitty Dion. You just give it back to him. You just give it back to him as good as he gives it.
“First hunting trip, beyond all expectations. The guides, the “Cook”, the camp, all-outstanding.” What’s up with the “quotes” around “Cook?” I’m thinking Grace might be serving up more than caribou stew. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Sex. I’m talking about sex.
“Everything was just superb as usual. Good people, good accommodations and especially Grace’s cookin (great looking teeth!!)” Oh, this guy’s totally a serial killer and/or Hermie the Dentist from the Rudolph special. Either way, DO NOT INVITE HIM BACK DION AND GRACE.
“Thank you, great time staying at the lodge was perfect. The whole time Grace “My Darling” makes the downtime go by and Dwayne needs just a little more time in a Looney bin. Thank you, We Will Be Back.” Sex. He’s talking about sex.
“Thanks again! Chris third trip, my second – he got a bull again, me the “Cow Killer” got another “Big Mama”! But I also got a really nice big shed so I’m only 1/2 disappointed(not really). It was a great trip, Grace is still amazing, Neal is fantastic, Dwayne’s still as funny as a crutch and Stewart, Peter, Dion and Doug are also just as great.” “Shed?” “Funny as a crutch?” I don’t know what’s happening here. Crutches are humorous? Probably not for people who need to use them.
“I was here on this date and you were far away. I didn’t see you but I hope you had as good of time as I have had sense I have been gone.” What…what is this? It’s like this guy wrote in the wrong guest book. Or this might be a love-letter to Grace. Or Dion, I suppose.
“The guide carried me thru something called a bog. I was as lost as a hog in a drug store. An animal came by and he informed me that it was a moose. I fired my gun and now I have a bunch of moose meat to get down to Georgia.” Lost as a hog in a drug store. I’m going to start saying this regularly. It’ll be what I’m known for. Also, the moose talked to you? This guy ALSO got into the magic mushrooms. DAD. DON’T EAT THE MUSHROOMS IN NEW FOUND LAND.
So. What have we learned about the hunting tour Dad’s on?
- There are some sort of shenanigans going on in that cabin.
- They may or may not kill the hunters after they “bag.”
- There are psychedelic mushrooms in the woods.
- CARIBOU AND REINDEER ARE THE SAME THING YO!
- I can solve science mysteries without Andreas. I’m not saying I *want* to, but I *can.*
- “Lost as a hog in a drug store”
- Word of the day: “muskegs”
- You cannot bring your trebuchet.
- There are “laydees” so probably Ken would dig it, yo
Once Dad gets back, I will run some of these things I have learned past him, and we will find out what’s what. Especially about Grace’s teeth. I’m a little curious about this one. Also, I NEED TO KNOW just how bullshitty Dion was. It’s burning a hole in my gut, needing to know this.
Run, little moose and bear and caribou. RUN AWAY.
Shit. Don’t read that part, Dad.
Who’m I kidding, he hasn’t read this blog in ever. I’m safe.
Run, you majestic bastards. RUN LIKE THE WIND.