Merriam-Webster defines the word “idiot” as “a very foolish or stupid person.” Mine is sometimes a bit more forceful.
On my recent hunt for Columbian whitetails near Roseburg, Oregon, I shared camp with a good friend, Wade Derby, and his 14-year-old son, Cody. Wade has raised Cody right. He’s full of P&V, but he’s also polite, well-spoken and respectful. He also loves to hunt.
Along with us were two other gentlemen. One was very wealthy, so much so that he had purchased the Oregon governor’s deer tag for 2015 — he paid a bit over $30,000. This tag allows him to hunt any species in the state and he was hoping to fill it with a Columbian whitetail. With him was his hunt booking agent from Utah who was acting as a sort of combination buddy and fixer, there to make sure things went well.
These guys were idiots.
I arrived to camp at noon the day before the hunt began and was the first one there. When the wealthy gentleman and his hunt booking agent showed up a couple of hours later I went over and introduced myself, offering my hand and saying hello. Neither even looked in my direction or offered their hands as they mumbled their first names. OK, I thought, I’ve been around enough guys like this over the years. I am not going to let them poison the camp for me. So, I kept about my business. Then Wade and Cody arrived and got the same cold shoulder treatment. Wade is also a long-time hunt booking agent and owner of Crosshair Consulting as well as being a police officer, former SWAT team commander and military veteran that has seen all sorts of folks in camps around the world. He has an easy demeanor, so he got a short conversation going with the two gentlemen who did little more than talk about all the places they’ve been and the game they’ve shot. I thought that interesting since both were, I believe, in their 60’s but looked like they were in their 80’s and could barely walk from their cabin to the truck without wheezing — but whatever.
Hunting was tough. I shot a dandy buck five minutes into the hunt thanks completely to the hard work and diligence of guide and outfitter Taylor Thorp. The idiots and their guide hunted for maybe three hours that morning and saw little. Rather than staying after it — deer were moving all day long — they went to town for several hours, came back and sat around camp mumbling to themselves. We hung and skinned my buck, and headed back out again within an hour.
Midafternoon — despite strong winds and warm temperatures — we found Cody what he was looking for, which was a fat forked-horn management blacktail buck. Cody made a perfect shot at 125 yards and was tickled pink. We cruised back to camp to take care of the animal only to find the idiots still sitting around grumbling. After we hung and skinned his buck, Cody spent some time hammering the bass in the ranch pond.
All this time, do you think the idiots could find the time to come over and congratulate a 14-year-old boy on a fine deer? Not once.
That evening they went to my spot but struck out — that was enough for them. Before we even returned from the evening hunt they had their truck loaded and were pulling out. They didn’t even say goodbye or congratulations to Cody. These two were some of the sorriest human beings I have ever encountered in a hunting camp — and I have run into some real doozies over the years. It pains me to think they call themselves “hunters” and others might mistake them somehow as representatives for the millions of stand-up Americans that head afield every year.
What do you think? I know many of you have met the same type of idiot in hunting camps before. How did you handle it? Drop me a line here at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.