So, one of my business partners told me this story on Christmas day. This story is about the dangers of too much Christmas cheer. It was related to me third hand, so I can't verify any of the details, but knowing some of my partner's current friends, I find it pretty credible. Names have been changed to protect the guilty as well as the innocent.
The event happened in the North East of the US. Seems that my partner's friend, Daphne, has scrub of a boyfriend who we'll call Fred. Fred, after a bit of holiday cheer decides that he wants to get a deer for Christmas dinner.
Fred takes Daphne's Chevy Blazer out on Christmas Eve with one of his buddies. I was never given a name, but let's call him Shag. And, for the record, I'm told it's one of the smaller Blazers, not one of the old K5s. Both of them had had a bit to drink, and they decide they're going to spotlight the deer.
For those of you who don't know what spotlighting is, it's shining a high power light in the deer's eyes to get that stunned "deer in the headlights" reaction from aforemention deer. It's generally illegal, but not always, though I'd call it cowardly.
So Fred and Shag drive out to a forestry road. They drive around the poles and chain blocking the path and continue down for a ways (maybe a mile or so) so they'd be out of site from the main road. Evidently they get out of the Blazer and are doing their setting up across the hood of the SUV, Shag with the light, Fred with the rifle (which I believe was a 30-30).
After a little while, Fred spots a pair of eyes in the brush up the road about 80-100 yards away. That's what I'm told, anyway, we only have a couple drunk guys report to go on. So Fred takes a shot, and.....nothing. Fred takes another shot...and once again nothing. Fred takes a third shot, and get a reaction from his target.
Neither the reaction Fred got, nor the target, were what he was hoping for. The prey turned toward him and started loping toward our hapless hunters. Fred yells at Shag to get in the truck, because he see that he's been shooting at a moose. Check the link for the size of moose and compare to deer, or just believe me when I tell you that a bull moose is three times larger than the largest of stags. Oh yeah, moose are also mean. I want you to think rhinocerous mean.
So our hunters scramble around the SUV to their respective doors. You can just imagine the panicked look on their faces. So they get in just before the moose gets there. The moose takes some time to look over the offending vehicle. Maybe he's trying to figure out how to get to Fred and Shag. Who knows?
For whatever reason, Fred doesn't start the SUV and leave. Maybe he's hoping the moose will leave and give him a chance to bag deer. Maybe he's pissing his pants. Maybe it just doesn't occur to him to back out while he's kind of drunk, or he doesn't trust his own abilities in his inebriated condition.
That's when the moose starts attacking the Blazer. He beats on it with his head and antlers, rocking the little vehicle back and forth, finally rolling it over on it's side with Fred and Shag getting thrown about inside. Afterward the moose, sensing his attacker had been vanquished, hoofed it back into the forest.
Sensing it was safe to leave the vehicle, the guys made their way back to the road and called a tow truck on one of their cell phones. Evidently they explained that their car was down a blocked off forestry access road, and the tow driver explained he would have to call a ranger to let him in. Some time later the tow truck and ranger arrived.
During the process of unlocking the gate, the ranger asked Fred and Shag some questions. They said they were hunting on some private property after bypassing the gate. So the ranger followed the tow truck driver out to the mangled SUV. The ranger, having noticed the smell of alcohol on the men probably peeked inside the Blazer and noticed the bottle of whiskey, a spotlight and the hunting rifle tossed about the interior. Who knows, maybe there were a few beer cans, as well.
So the ranger follows the moose tracks down to road to the brush where Fred had first spotted it. The ranger then came back and asked a few more questions after the totalled SUV had been righted and hauled onto the flatbed.
After Fred and Shag had answered a few questions, the ranger put Fred in cuffs, and Fred started to protest, saying that they'd been hunting on private property. The ranger then informed him that the land was BLM land 100 yards to either side of the access road. He'd also been hunting without a license, without a tag for moose, he was drunk in public, he'd trespassed onto federal land at least once, they had loaded weapons in their vehicle, and spotlighting was illegal there as well.
So now my partner's friend just had her car totalled by a moose on Christmas Eve. The vehicle was damaged in the commission of a crime, so there may be no insurance coverage for the car in any case. So maybe now the story isn't as hilarious.
I'm hoping Fred gets his life together while he's in jail (Pretty sure that Daphne needs to spend money on a replacement car not on bail) and, if not, I hope Daphne has the sense to get a brighter, more law abiding partner, preferably one that will marry her.