Writing Prompt – “The sand settles and I finally see the giant silhouette in front of me”

The sand settles and I finally see the giant silhouette in front of me… “damned…” I thought, “they missed.”

“Godddamnit Sersai, get your shit together!” I yell over the secure channel at my artillery officer. I simply must replace the dumb bitch and find a new Longbow squad leader; she’s been missing more than hitting of late, and when she hits, she hits lesser targets. Nothing to be done about it now …time to go to work.

Before the chastened lieutenant can mumble her apologies I kick the radio over to the general channel; “So, a tough bastard, eh?” I say, hitting the fast charge on my heavy lasers, leaving the two massive plasma cannon to cycle to full power normally.

“Oh, yes, ah’m not quite so fhuckin’ stupid as me squad mates ” the massive fighting robot, a Clan Kodiak, straightened to its full height of eighty-five feet, it’s paint and markings scarred, it’s armor dented and scratched, but no real visible damage. My sensors confirmed that – at least the front of the beast – had suffered only negligible damage from the artillery barrage. Some of his allies hadn’t been so lucky, I note. One Kodiak was down, two lighter mechs burning in the background, a horde of foot soldiers torn to pieces and scattered… The light mechs and the infantry mean dick to me, fucking Sersai fired early letting this big bastard through.

“That’s not saying much you son of an infected dog,” I moved, my much lighter but heavily armed Marauder Mod IVc accelerating rapidly to flank speed as the Kodiak’s heavy auto cannon’s lit up shredding the ground I’d just vacated.

“Sphere bastard!” the clansman screamed, “I am Delarian Spachhed of the Black Clan, who do I have the honor of killing today?” The lumbering beast moved with me, trying to get ahead of my flanking maneuver, the clansman turning and rotating his mech’s torso expertly to keep up with my run. I could see immediately that he’d catch me shortly…and I couldn’t take too many hits from that 605mm cannon of his.
I set my smaller, 320mm autocannon on automatic track and engage, its ball joint pivoting as the Iron Shield targeting radar locked onto the Kodiak, the greatest threat on any field of battle, and the only threat nearby. Joints, heads, any spot of armor over fifty percent damage, the fire control computer would automatically lock on and engage these targets, unfortunately, I’d run out of time.

Bitchin’ Betty started screeching in my helmet; “TARGET LOCK, TARGET LOCK, TARGET LOCK!” That Kodiak driver had managed to catch me in my turning run and that damned big gun was about to open up on me. Naturally, that was the least of my problems, I may have been at extreme range for it, but Betty – bless her nagging soul – almost in the same instant started alternating “TARGET LOCK!” with “Vampire! Vampire! Vampire!” Inbound missiles! The whole time the damned clansman is screaming obscenities about my heritage over the radio.

My holographic helmet display flared twelve red triangles with trajectory indicators pointed right at me. My fire control systems automatically deployed chaff and flares to distract the missiles, and I could hear the twin six-gun turrets of my close in weapons system spin up and start chattering off 40mm rounds just as my autocannon started firing. I on the other hand had to fire my jump jets myself.

Jump jet is a misnomer, in smaller medium and light mechs, yeah, it’s a turbojet. But in my eighty ton machine, jets would be most inadequate. Two solid fuel boosters fired, accelerating me straight up at nearly seven g’s shoving me back into my chair and activating my g-compensators. My fire control computer maintained target on the Kodiak, tracking and firing on it until my autocannon could not depress any further. Explosions rocked the Kodiak, armor fell off in huge chunks as I rose out of range of that damned big gun. My anti-missile defense had either spoofed or destroyed his salvo – that was luck, not the norm.

Four steerable ramjets fired next. A modification found only within my army. Limited of course, as heavy mechs fly like bricks, but bricks with several hundred thousand pounds of thrust still fly for a good minute. A full flight of heavy Marauders approaching at attitude tends to make one’s enemies think, and often makes them run, even when they’re running heavies.

Unlike the Kodiak, which mounts its heaviest weapons in its torso, the Marauder mounts its main weapons, two heavy pulse lasers and two heavy particle projector cannon in arms that rotate on a free floating ball joint, powered by their own polymolecular musculature servos, giving then nearly a free range of movement obstructed only by the mechs torso.

I turned, flying over my apparently stunned opponent. The sensors tracking my target flashed “FIRE” in my helmet reticle and I stabbed down on the primary weapons relay, unleashing hell. The heavy pulse lasers and particle cannons fired straight down into the big Kodiaks shoulder joints burning through the missile launchers, detonating the remaining missiles and blowing the mechs head and cockpit clean off. Then my third solid rocket booster blasted a stream of star bright fire straight into the gaping wound that was the Kodiak’s neck joint and through to the reactor core. My Marauder blasted up and out of range of the colossal resulting explosion. “I am Kelvin Delvarian of House Sungto, and today is just not your day!”

An Interesting Take on Obama’s Stance on Guns

I love listening to the rants about Obama and how he’s anti-gun. Sure, he appears that way, he talks the talk but he doesn’t really walk the walk, does he? Truth is, Obama’s presidency has been the best thing for gun manufacturers ever. There are TWO publicly traded gun manufacturers in the country. Sturm Ruger and Smith & Wesson. Sturm Ruger’s stock has increased in value 10 times (YES, TEN TIMES) since Obama became president, all on fears that ‘Bama is gonna take our guns. S&W? 7 times. I wish to all the Gods that I’d invested in either one before he took office.

In fact, NO PRESIDENT that I can find has done more to bolster the gun industry.

In fact, since Obama took office, the rights of licensed chl holders have increased, we can now carry in National Parks and on Amtrak. Interesting isn’t it? He also called Holder to the carpet at the beginning of his presidency and read him the riot act about saying how his administration would support a Clinton style AWB and then released a statement repudiating Holder’s statement.

But the NRA endorsed Romney. Mitt Romney as governor of Mass. signed into a law a PERMANENT Assault Weapons ban. That means he signed into a law a piece of legislation that was WORSE for gun owners than the Clinton Ban, which had a sunset clause (Which means that when Clinton signed it into law he KNEW that that law would eventually die a horrible death suffocated by political hubris). Not only that, but Romney signed into law a gun registration law …something the NRA says they would fight and fight and fight. Then, after that he signed into a law a TRIPLING of the registration fee. Remember, this the man that the NRA says is a friend to gun owners. Then, just before his first run at the White House, he goes and joins up with the NRA and hypocritically claims to be a hunter.

What has Obama done, other than, as an Illinois legislature toe the line (except of course for that vote to allow retired police officers to concealed carry in Illinois), and as president give lip service to the anti-gun crowd?

The truth is Obama has been very pro-gun control in his speech, but very neutral on gun control in his actions. Did he support Feinstein’s stupid attempt last year? Yes, but I think that was a political maneuver because the only person who thought that pig would pass was Feinstein herself ( and as far as I’m concerned, she’s the devil).

No. Anyone who thinks Obama is really pro-gun control simply hasn’t assembled the evidence for themselves and either is busying listening to Fox or the NRA (of which I am a life-member). Obama, for all his faults, has been very astute on this topic. Telling people what they want, maintaining the appearance of being a good little “gun grabber” all the while quietly undermining their position. I don’t think I could ever call him pro-gun, he’s an Illinois politician after all, but to say he’s an anti-gun president is a big, big stretch.

What’s Wrong at the NRA?

Those of you who know me know that no sane person would ever say I’m anti-gun.  The fact that I’m an NRA Life-Member, Instructor and RSO goes further to support the theory that I’m very pro-gun ownership and pro-2nd Amendment.   What I am against, are half-truths, lies, panicky-ness, and zealotry.  As such I do have some issues with the current leadership of the NRA.

This is one of them.  I’ve just casually gone through three of their monthly magazines.  In those magazines there are at least (and I have to confess to not be UBER thorough) fifteen articles about gun RIGHTS.  Articles about how the gubment is trying to tramp on your right to own, carry, shoot, buy, etc. whatever firearm you want.  Invariably, these turn into rants against Obama, or Biden, or Feinstein, their favorite targets.  In those same three magazines, I saw ONE article about gun owner RESPONSIBILITY.  An article about safes, which, if you’ve been paying attention, you know is something that I personally harp on.   If you are a gun owner, then you should also be a gun safe owner is very much a mantra of mine.

The tone, which this current crop of NRA “leaders” have cultivated to create fear and division, is one of “I want, I want, I want” when in fact, we should take a primary position of “I MUST.”

Instead of “I WANT MY GUNS,” the attitude should be “I MUST be responsible with my guns.”  The constant hew and cry against the Obama administration, while endorsing a gun-grabber like Romney for President, simply makes the organization look like a bunch of partisan boobs.

I’m struck by article about some idiot who went out and followed V. Pres. Biden’s advice on how to chase attackers off from the house.  That is, take your double barrel shotgun outside and shoot it into the air.  Now, anyone with a lick of sense knows that this is not only stupid and dangerous, but in many cases, simply illegal.  I’m not even going to get into how many laws here in Texas this would violate, reckless endangerment, illegal discharge, disordely conduct, and those are only the things that are at the top of my head.  Well, our particular idiot did just that and sure enough was arrested.  He now claims that he was just doing what the VP said to do.  The NRA article is trying to make it out that this is somehow Biden’s fault.  I do not agree.  Biden said something ignorant, yes.  But he’s not the person who shot the gun!  As a gun owner, this person had a HIGHER duty to know the laws, to know what he is allowed and not allowed to do in defense of his property.  It wasn’t Biden’s duty to teach him that – thought I DO wish the VP would shut the hell up about things he clearly has no knowledge of.  That said, ANYONE who listens to the “advice” of a politician on the pulpit, falls squarely into the category of moron.  Morons should NOT own guns.  The NRA seems to think the man has a valid defense, but I’m of the opinion that gun owners have a higher responsibility than to listen to kneejerk advice – especially from a career politician who is know to suffer from foot-in-mouth disease.  I hope this particular idiot is convicted and disallowed to own firearms.  He’s making it harder for those of us who actually have a brain and giving ammunition to the Feinsteins and Brady Campaigns types out there.

I’m still wondering if there might be room out there for a new gun owner organization. One that pushes for the “Well Regulated Militia” as well as The Right to Bear Arms not being infringed?  Sure would be nice to see a balanced approach for once, and not one based on politics, dogma and fear.

The new voice to text in Android Jelly Bean needs work.

I was using the notepad on my phone to transcribe some thoughts. …and I get this.

“One of the worst policies come out of the Second World War in the concept of the enemy of my enemy is my friend . This policy this unstated policy the United States has what is down the garden path in many ways and every single conflict that we have been involved in since the world war has resulted from this unstated policy here so beautiful and this evening inability hopper have a headache all legend decisions that correct glad to tucson or if you kill the superbowl. Some of the boy in the summit road villa deviation mine when you get write down to it in a billion comprehend what asian lady is based solely on western arrogance”

I think I want to write a book with this software.   We can all be surprised!

Ding Dong Doma’s Dead

June 26th, 2013: Today is an interesting day; It is the tenth anniversary of Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), wherein the Supreme Court threw out Texas’ and thirteen other states sodomy laws.  It is also the day that the Supreme Court overturned DOMA, the so-called Defense of Marriage Act and annihilated the case against California’s Prop 8 by ruling that the plaintiff did not have standing.

You know, whether one agrees or disagrees with the idea of marriage equality, I don’t really see how anyone can think it is a good thing for governments to decide the legitimacy of marriage between consenting adults.  If a church doesn’t want to marry gay people, fine, whatever.  But that same church enforcing its beliefs on the entire country by engendering a political process which restricts people’s rights…how is that good?  Yeah, if that’s what you want, I have a list of countries you can move to…Iran is at the top.

DOMA was a bad law, and it’s a crying shame that it took this long for the Supreme Court to weigh in.  But, there is a process that is followed and it isn’t necessarily speedy.  After all, all DOMA did was prevent a single class of people from legalizing their relationships and gaining certain benefits we afford those who have entered into a legal marriage.  It did nothing, NOTHING to “Defend Marriage.”  First marriage success rates still hover in the 40-50% range.  DOMA did not a thing to address that.   It’s like having a firebase, in a war zone, and guarding only one side of it against a perceived – but in my opinion over-hyped threat.  While the Viet Cong, the Nazis, and the Jung Horde are assaulting the gates, your C.O. orders you to defend against “the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.”*

It is time to end all the bigotry, and I’m not talking about Paula Deen saying nigger once in a while – and yes, I used the word, why? Oh, I must be a racist? White boy from Pasadena, Texas must be a klansman.  Hell no, I grew up around those assholes out on Redbluff at their “bookstore” in their clown suits trying to recruit on the weekends.  Found them to be the very definition of ignorant redneck moron.  So no, I’m simply being intellectually HONEST… it’s a WORD people, just a fucking word…I find saying “The N-Word” to be stupid, dishonest, and ignorant and a hell of a lot more offensive than the legitimate, editorial or academic use of an offensive term.**  I actually stopped a class discussion once over people using “the N-word” in an academic setting, arguing that it was dishonest and stupid… like saying pee pee and hoo hoo in a sex-education class.  I find it much more offensive that certain elements, on a fairly regular basis try to edit it out of certain pieces of classic literature…as if that can somehow change history.  I find it EXCEEDINGLY offensive that some black preachers chose to stand with the bigots and even used many of the same arguments used to support miscegenation laws before Loving v. Virginia in 1967!***  FYI, Samuel Jackson seems to agree with me on how stupid “the N-word” is.  SAMUEL JACKSON. ****

NO, what I’m talking about are people who feel the need to restrict other people’s rights, people who are willing to use their political power, and their religious dogma to force their idea of what society should be on others and lying, telling half-truths, fabricating evidence to do so.  I’m talking about hating people for their minor, inconsequential differences.  I’m talking about fanaticism, and the evils associated with it.  Whether that be the political fanaticism of the Tea Party, the religious fanaticism of a terrorist or, Gods help us, Westboro “Baptist” “Church” (and yes, the quotes are intentional).  The arrogance of some people claiming to know Gods will… just astounding to me and an indication of their lack of intelligence and self-reflection.

So here we are, moving on.  Today, fifteen states recognize marriage equality.  One more than yesterday. There is a long ways to go, but today the Supreme Court removed at least a few roadblocks to progress towards true equality.  Given the importance of the decisions reached on this day, I think that June 26th should become as big a holiday for the LGBT community as any. In fact, I have created a petition at Whitehouse.gov requesting just that.  Go! Sign it! Forward this link to your friends, to your enemies, to strangers in the street.  We have a month from June 26, 2013 to get 100,000 signatures. Good luck to everyone!

Freedom and Equality Day Petition:

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/freedom-and-equality-all-day/Y6ZQv3bW

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* With apologies to Gen. Jack D. Ripper

** I can’t recall the last time I used this word in casual conversation, I prefer the more generic and universal term Ignorant Asshat.  It works on all the idiots no matter what the color of their skin.

*** Loving v. Virginia, 388 U.S. 1

****And I’m sorry, when Samuel Jackson tells you to do something, motherfucker you do it!  Louis CK has a great skit on how “the N-Word” is just white people getting away with saying nigger.  I don’t disagree with him.  But this is a side issue; maybe I’ll do an article on “Things We Find Offensive, That Are Really Fucking Stupid, and I Don’t Care If You’re Offended Anyway.” I should probably shorten the title to something like, “Where In the Bill of Rights Does it Say You Have the Right to Not Be offended?”…that’s not really shorter, is it?  Oh well. Look, just don’t expect any overwrought apologies from me for not being culturally sensitive to stupidity.  I’ll just say that white, black, brown, yellow, green, purple; I don’t give a shit about the color of your skin, but I do care about the quality of your soul. If it’s a good soul, we can be friends, I could even possibly love you.  If it’s a shit soul, then you’re an ignorant asshat.  Deal with it.

Killing Bambi

So, this week I ran up to my dad’s up in Crockett, Texas.  He has a farm where he raises quail and chicken and rescues the odd abandoned Whitetail fawn (yes, he’s registered).  On my way up I noticed two very large deer, either does or antlerless bucks, dead on the side of the road, on the way home today I saw another.  One assumes, and I think it is a logical assumption, that these deer lying on the side of the road were victims of being struck – or of striking – a vehicle of some sort. It got me to thinking about what a crying shame such waste of a beautiful, useful and tasty animal is.  I mean, it’s not like this is some squirrel or skunk that gets squished under your tires, or even a large dog you clip with your bumper and just shrug your shoulders and keep driving – by the way…if you are the type of person who runs over a dog and doesn’t stop…you are utter scum.  No, these are large, potentially 150-200 or even in the case of a large buck, 300 pound animals, if you hit one, even a glancing blow, you are almost certainly at least are going to pull over, return to the scene and probably get pictures for your insurance company because your car now screwed up.

deer-crossing-road

So this is a large animal.  It is also a lot of meat.  Meat that can, if prevented from spoiling, feed a fairly large number of people.  A good sized adult Whitetail will dress out in the 140 – 160 pound range (that 300 pounder will of course be more…but let’s talk averages here).  A family of four – parents, two kids of average age – will need 8-10 pounds of meat a week.  That means a single doe, dressed out to 140 lbs will feed a family of four for 14-17 weeks. Alternatively, that same doe will feed 14-17 families of four for one week…..  However you want to work it.  As a lean, protein rich meat, it is better for you than just about anything you can buy in the stores today.

Additionally, even though venison is rarely seen in the commercial market, Whitetail venison does have a market value in the gourmet meats market.  What that value is depends on a number of factors – the cut of the meat (just like beef, a venison tenderloin is valued higher than say, venison stew meat or ground venison), availability, state regulations, etc.  That value can range between $9.00 – $22.00 lb. or more.  The total market value of our 140 lb. dressed doe depends largely on how it is processed, if you turn it all into ground venison, you’re looking at a value of a little over $1200.00.  Most people won’t want to turn the entire deer into hamburger, which means that the $1200.00 is a starting figure.

What this all means is that THIS WEEK ALONE, I have seen enough meat to feed 42-61 families for one week, or a single family for either just under, or just over a year.  That same meat is worth at least $3600.00 (we aren’t even discussing the value of the pelt, of the bones, the organs, the horns, the hoofs, etc.)  Sadly, that meat – which can do so much good – was rotting by the side of the road for the scavengers.  I hate that. It’s wasteful and really kind of stupid.  But what can you really do about it here in Texas.  Turns out, you can do some, but not much.

The questions that I want to answer are these;

  • If a person accidentally – and accidentally is key here – hits a deer, what should they do?
  • When they do that, what happens to the deer?
  • If you snag up Bambi without following the law, what are the potential consequences?

So… you’re driving home, late one night, on a back country road and a Whitetail bounds out in front of your car… boom, you peg her.  What do you need to do?

deer_on_road_big

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPDW) website has this to say about the topic.

 “If the deer is just injured call your local game warden dispatcher. If you are absolutely sure the deer is dead, you may move it off the roadway and leave it there. Texas Department of Transportation will remove the dead animal. It is illegal to tag the deer (or any game animal for that matter) and take it with you.”

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/faq/huntwild/general_questions.phtml

 Well that’s all good and fine, but I actually think that their write up creates as many questions as it answers.  So let’s get into this scenario a bit.

Many believe that if the animal is dead, the person who struck it gets first dibs on the deer!  In many states this appears to be true.  As late as 2005 the TPWD released a news release saying that often, the responding game warden would make a determination at the scene. It was not unusual for the person who hit the deer to wind up with it.  However, today, I’m afraid that seems to have changed and now, in Texas it is unlawful to possess a deer or any part of a deer that has been hit by a motor vehicle. What does happen, sometimes, but clearly not all the time is that the deer may be donated by the Game Warden or TPWD to orphanages, group homes, prisons, etc.  In the case of the Tyler, Texas region, struck animals often go to Tiger Creek, a big cat rescue facility.  Unfortunately, law enforcement agencies, including our amazing game wardens in Texas, have more than enough to do without having to collect every deer that gets pegged in this state – There are, about 1.5 million auto deer collisions per year, I cannot find a breakdown by state, but Texas ranks 9th for number of deer v. vehicle accidents.  That means that what happens more often than not is that the animal is merely left on the side of the road to rot.

I personally think this is a tad bit silly.  Not to deny the tiger’s and lions their fair share of venison, I’m happy to share with them. But, if say, you hit a deer, or I hit a deer, we know that animal is still fresh and has not begun to decompose. We know from inspecting it that the animal has not been damaged internally in a way which spreads toxins throughout the flesh – and this can happen with an animal struck by a vehicle.  We know, usually from personal experience that the animal is simply a fresh kill and that a fresh kill is a fresh kill whether done with a bullet or a Buick.  I honestly think that, if the game warden isn’t going to show, or doesn’t want to take possession of the animal (and I have no problems with TPWD having first dibs), then I should be able to claim that animal, in season or out of season as long as it is obvious that I wasn’t intentionally trying to hunt animals with my car.  However, and I want to be very clear about this, are you listening?  Good.  THIS is just my opinion.  As I’ve stated already, in Texas it is unlawful to possess a deer or any part of a deer that has been hit by a motor vehicle.  And while I may think the law is a bad law, it is still the law.  I may even violate it someday should the opportunity present itself.  I hope it doesn’t, I simply don’t want the hassle.  But if my car is cracked up by some blasted Whitetail, then the least the State of Texas could do is let me fill my fridge with tasty, tasty venison!  If you violate the law in Texas, then it’s your own damned fault. Don’t come crying to me because you read my criticism of the law and for some reason had a logical disconnect and thought that in some way I gave you permission to break it.  I didn’t. I do not have the authority to do so. I don’t care if you do break the law in this manner, just don’t blame me for your own actions.

Let’s be clear, I’m not suggesting that anyone go out and scavenge roadkill.  I know there are people who do so, but the idea grosses me out beyond imagining.  That deer that’s been sitting in the Texas sun for even a few hours… let’s just pass that one on by.  If you didn’t hit that animal yourself, or see it hit and watch it die… you eat that at your own peril.

What should you do if the deer you hit is wounded and hurting?  You felt the thud, you pulled over, and the doe is lying on the ground, her back broken and she’s flailing and screaming – yes, deer scream. Well, I know what I’d do.  But what should you do?  Well, I can’t answer that.  Only YOU can answer that.  There are numerous considerations though.  Approaching a wounded animal is a dangerous thing.  A deer, even severely injured can turn and severely injure – or kill – you.  If you do not know what you’re doing, call the police, the sheriff, or the local game warden and let them deal with it.  A lot of us Texans carry firearms, I know I do.  So should you pull out your pistol, or rifle or shotgun or whatever and shoot the deer to put it out of its misery?  That seems like the right thing to do, right? Well, maybe not.  Are you going to shoot into concrete?  Maybe get a ricochet? Maybe into a passing motorist?  Additionally, with certain exceptions, discharging a firearm on a public road is a crime in Texas – Texas Penal Code § 42.01. DISORDERLY CONDUCT.  (a) A person commits an offense if he intentionally or knowingly: (9) discharges a firearm on or across a public road.  It is a class C misdemeanor, which means you can be fined up to $500.00 (Title 3, Sec. 12.23 of the Texas Penal Code)*   This, I think is clearly a case of knowing one’s own limitations and being a responsible gun owner.  In my case, I will put an animal out of its misery and let the chips fall where they may.  It is against my personal faith, and my upbringing to allow an animal to suffer when it is clear nothing can be done for it.  But I will dispatch that animal in safe and sane manner.  I also have decades of experience using firearms, you may not.  What I would tell the average, less familiar person to do is just exactly what the TPWD tells you to do.  Call local law enforcement.  The dispatcher will guide you.  More than likely they will contact the local game warden, who will come out and make a decision.  But if that animal is in the middle of the freeway at night thrashing around, you may have to take action just to prevent a more serious accident!  Every situation is different, and it is something to think about.

game warden

So, let’s say you’ve hit the deer, put the deer out of its misery and in all this, never called the local LEO’s or game wardens.  You put that deer in the back of your truck, or in the trunk or in the back seat and start heading for the house.  You get a bit down the road and you look behind you and see that fella in the big green truck pulling up on your bumper.  What happens next… well, it won’t be fun, that’s for sure! Well, first, that deer is gone.  Sorry, too bad so sad.  But they don’t let poachers; even accidental poachers keep their catch in Texas.  Next, there are criminal penalties, certainly a fine, probably probation and possibly jail time. Next, there is civil restitution.  You will be required to pay the TPWD the value of the deer.  This alone ranges from $500.00-$4000.00!  Next, any weapons in the car are confiscated, gone.  It is even possible the vehicle itself will be confiscated.  There are plenty of websites out there that discuss fines and sentences related to poaching cases, I recommend that before you take your deer home, you read a few of those. You may decide it just ain’t worth it.

One other thing, there are all sorts of ancillary myths surrounding this sort of thing.  Let me dispel one of the more pervasive ones right quick.  Some people believe that you can make a claim through the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife and the state will pay your insurance deductible…well, as nice as that would be, it’s simply not true.  Sorry.  I personally can’t believe anyone would believe that to begin with, but apparently they do.  Stop it!

By the way, hitting a deer at any amount of speed is a bad idea.  If you can safely avoid the animal, then by all means, you should endeavor to do so.  If the choice is between hitting the deer and hitting the oncoming septic truck…take the deer out.  But be aware that deer strikes kill and injure not only the deer, but very often the drivers as well.  In 2000, deer-vehicle collisions lead to about 200 human deaths and $1.1 billion in property damage, and that appears to be about average for that sort of thing.  If you’re a biker…well…do I really need to address that?  I myself have nearly been pegged by a buck bolting in front of me on my way to Austin on the V-Star in the wee hours of the morning out in West Montgomery County.  We are talking high pucker factor, man!

I think, in the end, we should all work to change the law so that these animals do not go to waste.  There are plenty of places in this country where the option to take possession of the dead animal exists, I can find no real reason that it should be the same here in Texas.  In the meantime, we should also endeavor to be more aware of the dangers of hitting them in the first place and avoid doing so if at all possible.

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*Let’s be clear, I am NOT an attorney, I do NOT practice law and I do not play one on TV.  I am a researcher and an opinionated S.O.B.  I know how to look these things up and I will express MY opinion on these topics on MY blog.  MY opinion may differ from what is considered legal canon in the State of Texas.  If you take anything I write on this blog as legal advice, then I don’t even think there is a level of stupidity out there to describe you. So don’t do it.  If you do, then, once again, don’t come whining to me when you find your ass in a sling. IF you want legal advice, find an attorney.  Just look in the yellow pages, or the internet, or the State Bar website for A.T.T.O.R.N.E.Y.  There are, according to the Bar website, more than 89,900 active members of the State Bar of Texas – I am NOT one of them.

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One other thing, I mentioned Tiger Creek out in Tyler, Texas.  It is a great facility that is doing wonderful work for animals that we as human beings have let down.  http://www.tigercreek.org/. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend a visit; I also recommend adopting a big cat or simply donating to the cause.