Gotta Deer In My Trunk

9 Jan



I don’t eat a whole lotta meat.  I think it all stems back to childhood.  No, I KNOW it all stems back to childhood.  I grew up in a family that hunts.  So every year during deer season there’d be at least one deer hanging upside down in my garage.

“April, go fetch me a broom.  It’s in the garage.”

Me: “So is death.  Death is in the garage.  And carnage.  Also, sadness.”

And every year there’d be a freezer full of meat.  I know some people would be like, “Praise God!”  But I was like, “I’m running away.  Tonight.”  Every time I sat down at the table, I’d ask the same thing:

“Is this deer meat?”

“Eat the meat, April.”

“But is it deer?”


“I’m not eating it.”

“Oh you’ll eat it.  You’ll sit there all night if you have to.  And just ask anybody, deer meat is nasty when it’s cold.”

But there was one year that burned itself into my DNA and lurks there still.  I think it was around my birthday and we were travelling to Pennsylvania to visit family.  In a Dodge Colt that looked exactly like this:


As you can see, there’s an open trunk.  And that trunk was loaded down with stuff.  It was the middle of the night and I was half asleep when I felt Dad pull over to the side of the road.  Now, this wasn’t uncommon because my mom would occasionally puke from the car sickness that afflicted her.  But I could immediately tell this wasn’t a puke stop.  There was whispering and plans being made.  Not plans….plots.  Plots and secrecy and double knot stuff.  My Dad got out of the car and a few seconds later excitedly told my mom, “It’s still warm!”

I watched him walk across the road and up to a farmhouse and knock.  I cannot recall whether or not anyone answered.  All I know is that a few minutes later, Dad was cramming a dead deer into the trunk and we were off.   Never mind that there was a dead hoof on my shoulder.  Never mind THAT.  And never mind that there was a box of leftover pizza UNDER the deer that we were bringing with us for some reason.  Pizza that my brother later ate.

But here’s where the trauma implanted itself within my soul.  The following morning during breakfast, my Dad and Uncle were all kinds of giddy about wanting to show us kids something.

“Look kids!  That deer was a mama and here’s the baby!  Would you look at those spots?!

What disturbed me even more was that everyone was a little TOO okay with everything.  I recently told my mom about how this experience screwed me up and she laughed.  Like belly laughed.

“Well you never even let on that you were traumatized!”

No?  Really?  I still to this very day have never watched “Bambi” in its entirety.

I wouldn’t have brought any of this up….but a couple of days ago, my brother scooped a dead deer up off the road and took it home, so I guess maybe he’ll be needing to follow this link which fully explains how to safely eat roadkill.






5 Responses to “Gotta Deer In My Trunk”

  1. Michael Cargill January 9, 2015 at 8:54 am #

    Awesome story, dude. And so is that car.

    You country folk are so weird.


  2. therealgirlfriday January 9, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

    I too came from a hunting/fishing family. In Texas, my Dad would often hunt for Jackrabbits, as they are very large in Texas. One day he came with one that was enormous and he told me it was the Easter Bunny. I was 5. I exploded into tears, which really confused him. He wasn’t around much and that the fact that I was a little girl never seemed to occur to him. Like how he called me Patrick my whole life. Anyway, he was confused and annoyed that I didn’t understand his joke but we still got to have dinner at A&W that night which make everything A-OK in my book. I east less and less meat as I get older, as well. Also, I wont even consider it unless it came from a farm that is certified in raising the animals in humane and sustainable practices. It’s been decades since I’ve eaten deer meat and as far as I’m concerned – if I never eat it again, that will be fine by me.


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