Where the wild deer are

PHOTO: Kathleen, Flickr CC-BY

Hunters harvested fewer deer in northern Minnesota during the rifle opener this year. Experts cite several theories to explain the downswing, including habitat, climate, predation and fewer hunters.

But the real answer will shock you.

[INT. well furnished library of a palatial mansion. DOE sips tea while gazing out a picture window. BUCK sits in a wingback chair reading a newspaper.] 

DOE: Oh, Gerald, it’s hunting season. Look at the orangecoats out there on the road.

BUCK: Hmmph.

DOE: Do you remember how stressful this time of year used to be? I saw my father gutted like a … well, you know.

BUCK: No sense wallowing in old memories, dear. We don’t have to worry about that anymore.

DOE: I do miss frolicking in the meadows.

BUCK: Now listen, you’re missing the point. My head would be on a wall somewhere! You’d be a bag of jerky in the glove box of some guy’s truck! We can still frolic in the meadows. We just have to wear the gear.

DOE: The gear is so cumbersome.

BUCK: Mine’s alright. The stretch pants are rather comfortable.

DOE: My outfits are so tight. It’s not fair.

BUCK: We have to fit in. That means you have to dress like a typical human female and I have to dress like a typical human male.

DOE: It’s the masks that I hate the most.

BUCK: The masks are bad. But they work. Look at me, I’ve been elected to the state legislature.

DOE: I still can’t believe that actually happened.

BUCK: I just repeated what I saw on those internet memes. Wasn’t easy to learn how to make human sounds, but a sturdy baritone gets you a long way in politics.

DOE: I find it all so uncouth. So much kissing hands and shaking babies.

BUCK: Actually, the humans like it better the other way around.

DOE: And here I am, forced to sell my urine to sporting goods stores to pay for this ridiculous estate.

BUCK: I told them I was a very successful businessman. We have to keep up appearances. Besides, have you ever had so many apples in your life?

DOE: No, I haven’t. You got me there. But what if they ever find out?

BUCK: I’ve had antlers this whole time. I just don’t think they’re very observant. Besides, every day we spend pretending to be humans is a day we don’t have to bed down in a swamp or dodge bullets. Now, let’s go to the hunter’s supper.

DOE: I get so nervous there.

BUCK: All those people want is mashed potatoes and roast. Besides, we could win a gun in the raffle.

DOE: OK, dear. But I’m only going if you promise me one thing. After hunting season, we go frolic in the meadow like the old days.

BUCK: That’s fine. And tell you what, before the session starts up we can even go down to the highway and run some cars off the road.

DOE: You know me!

[BUCK and DOE engage in a series of low guttural sounds without human translation.]

Aaron J. Brown

Aaron J. Brown is an author and college instructor from northern Minnesota’s Iron Range. He writes the blog MinnesotaBrown.com and co-hosts the podcast “Power in the Wilderness” on Northern Community Radio. This piece first appeared in the Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023 edition of the Mesabi Tribune.


  1. Dawnette Davis says

    Good one!😂😂😂

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