There is an illustrated article about deer stalking in countrylife.co.uk, Aug. 7 issue.
You might think you’d need a deerstalker, like Paget’s Sherlock Holmes, to stalk the wild deer, but this is not so–nowadays. The idea is a single hunter pitted against a solitary quarry…a (male) mythology astonishingly potent, as proven by Sir Gawain and…Rossini (see signature below).
The article follows an amateur stalker out for the hunt. You must endure the indignity of camouflage and face paint; tweed is not recommended as it chafes the inner thighs. Anything that retains a human scent is a no-no.
Deer eat healthily and take a lot of exercise. You will learn that the deer might be far fitter than you.
Proponents of guns for one and all will be happy to learn that they must expound authoritatively and at stultifying length with a Tikka…a gun, and not Indian food. You will have to hit the target venison in one shot. There must be utter silence, but for the constant bitter wind and damp.
I read about the following denouement in the excellent The Crooked Stick: the History of the Longbow, by Hugh Soar—-once you’ve killed the beast, you experience the “gralloching”–the disembowelment that keeps the venison untainted (and which is where the Christians must have stumbled upon their torture paradigm). In the Crooked Stick, the author says the hunting aristocrats enjoyed the little grubblies nestled within the stomach and bowels of said beast.
Once you’re back home, you may proceed to stuff and mount the decapitated head above your makeshift fireplace.
Concluding story: “after a kill, one American (never an Englishman) would become hopelessly inflamed with blood lust. ‘He would get amorous with his wife over the carcass while everyone stood around and looked the other way.” The eyes of the gentleman recalling this event misted over like a fog descending on a Cairngorm.”
Brenda Rossini, “Ginger”