Part XI: Hunting and Fishing

As they say, time marches on. The year is now 2014. Quoted from the renowned philosopher Stimpy, “Happy, happy, joy, joy”.

El Hyena greets the New Year with mixed emotions: the good news is El Hyena is still amongst the living, while the bad news is El Hyena will soon turn a year older, advancing further into his sixth decade of life.

Some people may be happy that 2013 is over, and eagerly anticipate a better 2014, while others are sorry to see 2013 pass. To others, there will be little, if any, appreciable difference.

El Hyena is saddened by the approaching end of hunting season. Of course, the season for hunting white tailed deer (a vicious and obnoxious beast) has in fact ended. This past year, just as in many prior years, El Hyena engaged in the manly pursuit of deer hunting. Not only is deer hunting manly, it is also expensive and often frustrating. El Hyena hunts deer every season with a very close friend on leased property just inside the eastern border of Karnes County. The property contains many deer which cannot be “harvested” (murdered) without violating game laws established by the authorities.

Nevertheless, it is always “fun” to suffer hypothermia and boredom by secreting oneself in an exposed, rudimentary structure known as a “deer stand” vigilantly and repeatedly examining every blade of grass, leaf, limb, twig, and dark spot on the ground in hopes of spotting the elusive “Trophy Buck”, a sometimes mythical creature equally intent on avoiding being “harvested”.

There are, of course, ancillary activities involved in deer hunting, such as constructing and staring at raging campfires, riding around on a 4-wheeler (“scouting”), and creating culinary masterpieces by opening cans, dumping the contents thereof into a pot, and applying heat thereto. The most satisfying and rewarding activity is purchasing, hauling, and distributing tons of corn so that hogs and cows can eat it all every day and night, so that the process can be repeated endlessly.

Deer season may be over, but the season for shooting at the air close to ducks remains open for a few more days. El Hyena enjoys duck hunting, another manly activity that is not only cold but also wet and muddy. El Hyena thoroughly enjoys duck hunting, as it provides the opportunity to clothe himself in expensive and awkward apparel, load himself down with all manner of “essential equipment”, stumble over hundreds of yards of impassable terrain, and wade in frigid ponds with deep muddy bottoms so as to strategically deploy decoys (lifelike plastic facsimiles of waterfowl scientifically designed and constructed to discourage ducks from approaching anywhere in their proximity). Once all of this is accomplished, El Hyena can then stare at the empty skies and enjoy quality time with his faithful canine companion Lobo, who is either deaf or less than perfectly obedient. On rare occasions, Lobo will actually sit quietly and patiently in the blind, but most of the time he must charge about inside the blind and knock everything over, run around outside of the blind, or launch himself into the water either to inspect the decoys or to search for incapacitated ducks he apparently thinks should result from gunshots heard from miles away. In fairness to Lobo, however, El Hyena should point out that whenever a duck does fall to the water, most likely from being concussed from the close passage of tiny steel pellets, Lobo will make an impressive retrieve, and then eventually surrender possession of the duck after an appropriate amount of encouragement (pleading).

The good news is that the time of year for fishing, another manly activity, will soon be upon us. This will provide El Hyena with a whole new set of enjoyable opportunities to spend money (stimulate the economy) and go without sleep. As in years past, El Hyena looks forward to spending many relaxing hours on the water burning gas, desperately trying to avoid being run over by many, many other boat drivers, and seeking to outwit cold-blooded creatures (fish) who are supposed to be less intelligent and more gullible than El Hyena. After all, El Hyena is smart enough to know that fish much prefer eating an artificial bait fish made of plastic rather than a real bait fish that looks nothing at all like a chicken on a chain.

In closing, El Hyena fervently hopes the fishing is better in 2014 than it was in 2013. Other equally skilled fishermen have assured El Hyena that they too had trouble catching fish last year, but El Hyena sometimes suspects that they are just trying to make him feel better.

El Hyena looks forward to seeing his faithful readers on the water, but please try and refrain from running close across his drift. That would only make El Hyena cranky, and harsh his mellow.

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