Friday, December 11, 2009

Surviving the Deer Camp Hangover

A great philosopher once said that even the greatest journey must begin with a single step. Surviving the deer camp hangover is really no different. To succeed, you must concentrate on small achievable goals designed to eventually get you out of bed and into the woods chasing whitetails.

Lying in bed with your head pounding like a bass drum and your mouth feeling like a sand box recently visited by a cat suffering from dysentary, this may at first seem like an impossible task. Despite the precarious predicament you have forced upon yourself, I assure you that it can be done. Mind over matter you might say.

In the predawn light, I first suggest flailing around and seeing if you can locate some means of hydration. If by experience you had the foresight to leave a full glass of water, three rolaids and two aspirin on the bed stand, stop reading now you are a hangover master and require no additional tutilidge. If, however, in your fumblings all you manage to find are dust bunnies and a warm 1/2 can of Budweiser filled with cigarette butts you may want to begin taking notes.

After locating some form of non-alcoholic liquid, getting out of bed should be your next primary focus. It is at this point that you will be most vulnerable to the siren song of the hangover and tempted to sleep "just a few more minutes". Don't listen! If you can manage to get your feet on the floor and head off the pillow you will be well on your way to the deer stand. This is of course assuming you didn't lose your mackinaw or rifle in last nights poker game!

Once vertical, don't waste your precious morning prep time listening to the camp rabble profess that there exists some magical hangover cure. They will be feeding you dilly beans and making you drink white vinegar or some other foul substance in an attempt to get you to "purge". Don't be fooled, there is only one sure cure for the modern day hangover and that is time. How much time depends on a variety of factors to extensive to catalog thus making it impossible to even begin to judge. You will be best served to believe that it will last forever and plan accordingly.

Once mobile, immediately locate the camp outhouse. It is critical that you be the first morning inhabitant as in your "weakend" state you may not make it into the woods if you are second and God have mercy on your soul if you are third. If last nights appetizers of jalepeno poppers, processed/dried meats, pickled eggs and assorted cheeses aren't sufficient to get the intestinal party started, I find a southern breakfast works wonders. This confederate concoction consists of a cup of strongly brewed black coffee immediately chased with a baseball sized cheek full of RedMan. If this fails to produce the desired outcome, secure two or three rolls of toilet paper in preparation for the impending mid-morning disaster. If these critical supplies have already been hijacked by a more experienced drunk, don't despair an old pair of cotton socks will work quite nicely.

Sitting in the stand with your head resting peacefully against the tree trunk you will be tempted to close your eyes. Each slow blink will feel better than sex, so make sure that your climbing harness is properly attached to you AND the tree. If you feel yourself bending to the will of Mr. Sandman it is perfectly acceptable to slap yourself squarely across the face. If you can do this in conjunction with some light grunting and rattling the deer will hardly notice.

As you gingerly nibble on a lunch consisting of soda crackers and diet cola a burp erupting from your stomach brings with it foggy recollections of a double tequila nitecap. Sickened by your apparent complete lack of self control, you silently plot your revenge and berate your family and friends for making you feel this way. Let me remind you, that no matter how bad you would like to blame your current condition on your uncle Johnny Walker or cousin Jack Daniels, ultimately it was you who drank it. Sure there may have been some arm twisting but in the end the evil liquid made it into your stomach. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water . . . Taking responsibility for your state of being is a great step that will go a long way in improving your poor and sickened disposition.

What happens if you actually shoot something? Let's just hope for your sake that this doesn't happen. If, however, a mentally challenged whitetail is somehow drawn to the aroma of farts and stale beer don't panic. Should a miracle occur and you magically manage to shoot the beast, immediately start crying and pray this ploy convinces your hunting party to take pity on you. If you are very lucky they may just gut the animal and drag it out of the woods for you!

Eventually all days must end and as the sun sets you will undoubtedly breath a sigh of relief. Returning to camp you warm your tired old bones by the fire and daydream of delicious backstraps and copious hydration. As you rest your head on your arm and slowly scrape food from your dinner plate into your mouth your thoughts invariably begin to think of how good it will feel to have a restful nights sleep. It will be at this point that the poker chips will appear and that first can of ice cold beer will be opened. As your thoughts flip to your morning solemn vow to never drink again you think hmm maybe I could have just one.


  1. I'm glad I don't have to worry about deer camp hangovers, I'd never make it.

  2. Hi there,
    Well this cracking post has brought home some memories (most of them painful), the best hangover semi cure for me (besides not drinking too much!) I find is copious gallons of water plus a huge fried breakfast – it wont fully cure me but at least I’m able to function in auto mode for the majority of the day.
    All the best,


  3. I am laughin' and cryin' at the same time as this is the funniest post I have ever read! Five stars and two thumbs up from me!

    (I would also like to state that the reason for the laughing-tears has NOTHING to do with the fact that I could relate to almost everything you said...but I don't play poker...)

  4. All - Glad that everyone is enjoying the post. It certainly makes me smile to think that someplace out there in cyberland there are people laughing and enjoying my writing.

    Kmurray - Actually, I don't tend to play poker much myself, I tend to be more of a cribbage player. However, from what I learned several years ago hog hunting in S. Carolina nobody south of the Mason Dixon line has even heard of "Cribbage"?!?!?

  5. Good stuff! I suffered the consequences of an elk camp hangover... once. just once. I honestly thought I wasn't going to make it the next day. I think the guys secretly enjoyed hitting every bump on the mountain road as my head was hanging out the window in an attempt to get some fresh air and not loose the contents in my stomach.

  6. One of the funniest posts I've read!

  7. I was more concerned about the weapons of mass destruction that were being released during the delivery of the culinary treasures, things weren't just fowl but rather quite foul...

    Tell Saddam I send my best and that he didn't kill me!!!

  8. DDH,

    After awhile your nasal passages will burn out and your taste buds will wither. At that point you will be able to survive habituating in close proximity to my noxious, gaseous and perhaps even putrid Uncle. I still can't believe he tricked you into pulling his finger! LOL!

    Glad you survived buddy!

  9. Great story.... 1 to 2 apples in the morning is the best cure going... Don't know why but the Russians with their love of vodka agree.

  10. So funny and so true! Great read.


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