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Home Country

BY SLIM RANDLES

In our part of the country, fall means deer hunting. Many of us will dress up like a pile of leaves, go out into very cold weather, and sit still until we freeze to death.

Why? Because we want to have some venison this winter for the family.

We'll figure out how much the venison costs us ... but only at gunpoint. Because this is not the most fiscally sane thing we do each year. Sanity would send us to buy some really tender beef to eat.

Where's the glory in that? No, there are still a lot of us who would rather go out and find the meat and bring it home. And we spend a lot of money each year, and read lots of books and magazines, and talk endlessly about techniques.

It doesn't appear to be a rational way to live, but when you apply science, history, anthropology and Darwinian theory, it still doesn't make any sense, but at least now you sound more educated talking about it.

Doc's awfully good at that. When the subject came up the other day at the morning meeting of the world dilemma think tank (held daily at the Mule Barn truck stop since the Hoover administration) Doc said there was actually a very clear scientific reason for it.

"In cave days," he said, "only the best hunters lived to sire children. The others ate weeds and died a sorry death. So we come from a solid line of successful hunters. We've been running around clubbing things to death for about two million years that we know of, and we only started agriculture about 12,000 years ago. So if you divide this and carry the one ... well, another way to look at it is ... if man emerged from the trees a year ago, he was nothing but a hunter until 18 hours ago."

"Makes sense," said Dud, "think I'll buy some of that Autumn Fandango camo this year."

Brought to you by Raven's Prey, a thriller of the far North. Available at www.slimrandles.com.

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