REDNECK PERSPECTIVE: Orange is the new camo

By on November 4, 2014

Jackson Hole, Wyoming – I got up early, dressed in Carhartts and hunter orange and headed for the wild in search of meat. I swung by Maverick for nourishment. Pickup trucks and men wearing Carhartts and hunter orange flowed in and out like a well-oiled machine.

As I pulled into the parking lot I exchanged nods with a man sporting a three-day beard and driving a new one-ton Chevy Silverado, the sides splattered with mud and a Mossy Oak decal displayed on the windshield.

Wearers of hunter orange bond by sharing the knowledge that we are superior in manly attributes to those who swagger around in lycra cycling tights or, in winter, show off the latest from Cloudveil while strutting into the bagel shop as if it was the runway of a fashion show; superior to those timid souls who see the outdoors as a place to recreate, to be in, but not to be of.

We kill things. Well, mostly we kill tanks of gas, convenience store burritos and bottles of whiskey, but we are armed. Should an elk stumble in front of us, we will at the very least send massive amounts of projectiles and ordnance in its general direction.

The coffee-and-doughnuts line inside Maverick moves with masculine efficiency. No one slows up commerce by ordering a double short latte, whole milk, no foam and an everything bagel with a schmear of sun-dried tomato olive, hummus and sprouts. Hunters don’t do schmears, sprouts or hummus.

I put 10 chocolate-flavored creamers in a cup, topped it off with some coffee, grabbed a sausage-egg biscuit from under the heat light and got in line.

Just then Lill, my redneck lover, walked in with two apprehensive men following behind.

“Lill,” I said. “What’s going on?”

“I filled out all my hunters and so I’m guiding a couple of Robert’s,” she said with a shake of her head. “He couldn’t find an elk if it was tied to him. But what are you doing here, Clyde? I thought you gave up hunting.”

I cringed, hoping no one overheard. It was true that I gave up hunting three years ago after I got my elk. (It ran out in front of my truck after I finished a long night at the Virginian.) All that winter I ate elk steak and burger. If you have ever eaten elk, the first thing you notice is it doesn’t taste like pork and has almost no fat.

“I still hunt Area 84,” I said defensively. Area 84 includes Smith’s Food.

“Well, good luck,” she said as she filled a coffee cup.

I paid and walked outside. So what if I no longer actually hunt? Hunting is about more than going after elk; it is about eating convenience store food, about driving around wearing orange, about not shaving, about belonging to the seasons. I hang out at Maverick wearing my orange until Smith’s opens. Fall’s Brand Bacon was two for one! I buy 10 pounds and return home with meat for the freezer.

About Clyde Thornhill

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