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The Great White Hunter

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I received a pretty good giggle a few days ago and I just have to share it with you. I pulled up to a convenience store in the Northeastern corner of our county, going in for a cup of coffee and a can of Copenhagen. As I was getting out of the truck, a tiny lady of advanced years spots me and points her skinny little pointer finger and says “You’re that Great White Hunter!”

I doffed my hat and admitted that I’ve been known to spend a bit of time on the hunt. “My husband reads you in the paper and I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself!”

Well, that was unexpected, but I had to agree with her. I likely ought to be ashamed of myself, I’m infamous for run-on sentences, misplaced punctuation, and dangling participles. But it turns out my writing wasn’t the issue, rather my passion for hunting was.

“I bet your mother is awfully proud to know she raised a murderer!” I wasn’t in the least bit offended. I was too humored to be getting scolded by a five foot tall, living rendition of Mother Goose. So, I humbly explained to her that my mother had departed for Heaven some years ago, but to my knowledge, she had indeed been proud of me as my outdoor activities had provided the entree for many family meals over the years.

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She huffed an apology about my mom and proceeded to walk past me, but stopped me again as I was about to reach the convenience store door. In a less confrontational tone she asked “Do you really eat all of those animals or just hang their heads on your wall?”

Aha, I knew I was about to make a friend. I let her know, as kindly as ever I might have, that I do not have a single deer head hanging on my walls and that I certainly do eat all of the animals I successfully hunt. I asked her if her husband hunts, to which she told me no because he’s been in a wheelchair since he was a teenager, but he loves watching it on TV and reading about it. I told her about the disabled outdoorsmen groups, which I volunteer as a guide for and extended an invitation for him to join me sometime. She really began to mellow, but assured me that she would not let him go off into the woods in his condition, but said she’d tell him I’d offered, just the same. I extended a handshake to her, which she accepted and offered what I believe was a genuine smile. Afterwards, Mother Goose toddled off to her car that she’d left parked in front of the gas pump whilst I headed in for my coffee and dip in quite a good humor. Imagine that “The Great White Hunter?”

I’m not sure where the term even originated, but to be sure there may be Great White Whales, Great White Sharks and even Great White Ways, but no Great White Hunters…. Mediocre ones, at best. I surely thank you for all of your input and as always, if you have any feedback, give me a shout at [email protected]. Don’t forget that Zone A in South Florida opens this weekend. To anybody headed south to enjoy our earliest season for deer, God Bless and good hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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