by Roger Freed
It was really,
We had taken
an old buddy from Minnesota, Bob, with us hunting.
In his left hand he clutched a creature that
looked a lot like a tawny, hairy, camouflaged
Cannon beach towel with a head attached to it.
have the nerve to call this thing a deer?"
he said. I feel like a I just shot Bambi! If
McDonalds had to survive selling the meat off
these things they'd go bankrupt!"
Bob had a
point. He had just experienced his first Sitka
deer. Alaska is known for its huntable, large,
fur bedecked quadrapeds. Most of them are good
targets like bears, moose, caribous and
overweight cruise ship tourists. Alaska is famous
as the behemoth Happy Hunting Grounds open to
everyone. Sitka deer, however, don't hold up
their end of the contract. Sitka deer are the
wimps of the woods. They are lithe, graceful
creatures who somehow manage to survive in a
wilderness teeming with much larger and not so
graceful monstrocities fitted with fangs and
claws that are like deer Cuisinarts. Sitka deer
are sort of like Smurfs at a Klingon convention-
they don't belong here.
This is all
really shattering to the world's image of Alaskan
hunting. Hunters like Bob are used to hunting
deer like they have in Minnesota, so big that
John Wayne could rope and ride 'em. They are
horribly offended when they see the size of
Alaskan deer and often think we are holding out
on them. Outdoorsmen coming to Alaska expect the
critters here to be big, hairy and mean,
including the women. On Sitka deer the bullets
carry away more meat than there is left on the
carcass. Sitka deer look downright anorexic.
How did this
come to be? I have a theory: Paleontologists in
Ireland have found skeletons of deer there that
were 18 feet high and had antlers 12 feet across.
I believe that when Noah dropped anchor and
started booting the animals off of his ark after
the flood that he accidentally dropped the deer
meant for Alaska in Ireland and we got theirs.
The Irish certainly didn't need deer that big,
although they might have helped during the potato
famine. They would have made fine Alaskan deer,
though, perhaps even intimidating the moose at 18
feet high. Substituting them with Sitka deer is
like substituting Sponge Bob Square Pants as a
stand-in for the Hulk.
Of course it
is difficult to do something about it. The Irish
deer are extinct and we have to deal with what we
got. I believe it is in Alaskas best interest and
good for the protection of its image if we would
do something with these creatures. What about
those steroids everybody in baseball is hooping
about? Send 'em up here! We'll just spike the
food chain with it and hope the grizzlies don't
get to it first (Actually, maybe it wouldn't be
so bad if they did- we could start African-style
big game hunting here.). Or we could bring up
some Hollywood make-up artists and have them buff
them up a bit like they did with Ben Stiller in
that 'Dodgeball' movie or Eddie Murphy in that 'Nutty
I often wonder
if there were big deer here at one time and the
Natives hid them back in the woods so that the
Russians wouldn't get them. The Russians would
come along and say "Where's the deer?"
and the Natives would point to the Sitka deer and
say "That's them!" They were probably
surprised when the Russians shot them anyway.
Meanwhile the bears were making munchies out of
the real deer.
should really do something about it. We can't be
known as the state of wussy deer. Wussy
politicians maybe, wussy environmental controls
perhaps, but, by Jehovah, NOT wussy critters!
Lets get a grant writing project going for the
importation of Minnesota deer or for the
impregnation of our deer with muskox and really
get things going! And while we're at it lets
import a few of them armadillo things just 'cause