Deer season is here. Hordes of hunters will flock to the woods in search of that elusive whitetail. For some, it will be a solo adventure. They wish to become one with nature. For many others, it will be their annual trek to deer camp. The same deer camp where they’ve been meeting up with friends and family for generations.
It will also be the first time at deer camp for some lucky hunters. They have finally come of age. Or they passed the unwritten test to receive an invitation to the deer camp experience. A word of caution as these newbies must learn and abide by the established rules of deer camp. Each camp might have different rules or a code of conduct. Straying from the code may get them banned, or worse…
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These rules are usually just a suggestion or more like guidelines. Think along the same guidelines of the Pirate’s Code. In fact, let’s compare basic Deer Camp Rules to some sections of the famed Pirate’s Code. The similarities are humorously interesting…
All members get a vote- Did this really work on the ship? Did the captain actually listen to the crew? This does work if the camp is group owned or operated. Not so much if it isn’t.
Equal shares and chores for all members- This pertains to bounty or booty, fresh provisions and strong liquors. It might be one thing while stuck on a ship out at sea. But it seems everyone should also provide an equal share of groceries and work while at camp. No moochers or poachers allowed.
Don’t steal from one another- You think? Who wants to be set ashore with their nose and ears cut? Or staked out on an anthill at deer camp covered in honey for the resident bear?
No gambling- “None shall game for money; either with dice or cards.” This one may or may not fly at deer camp. It all depends on the group involved.
Candles out at 8pm- If the crew wants to party on after that, they’re required to take it above deck. Might be a little chilly out there if the captain turns in early.
Be Ready for Battle. Always Be Prepared- Keep those pieces, pistols and cutlasses clean. Same applies to your hunting gear.
No boys or women on board- If a crew member brought either on board ship, the penalty was death. Times have changed for the better. To be clear, our women warriors will no longer be denied. The building of “she sheds” is overtaking that of man caves. Deer Camp is not just for the boys anymore and as Martha Stewart always says, “It’s a good thing.”
No deserters- Deserting the ship in times of battle was punishable by death or by marooning. Your deer camp crew will have to vote on this one.
No striking one another on board ship- All quarrels are to be ended on shore by sword and pistol. Hopefully, the modern deer camp crew can settle disputes with a little less blood. How about by arm-wrestling? It is rare that sword and pistol resolutions end well for either party involved.
No talk of ending the way of life- Pirates weren’t allowed to even think about ending their life of piracy until each of the crew had amassed 1000 pounds. Choosing to adopt this particular rule for deer camp is probably unwise. Not leaving camp until each hunter has bagged their buck could be the start of an extremely long winter.
So now that the rules of deer camp or “guidelines” are clearer or muddier, make a choice. Are you a hunter or a pirate? Or maybe just a wee bit of both? There may not be a whole lot of differences.