Drivers on Texas' Interstate 10 last week witnessed an unusual sight when a Jeep used an eye-catching method to haul a deer to processing.
The Seguin Gazette, from Seguin, Texas, posted a photo on its Facebook page a few days ago of a vehicle driving down Highway 10. A Jeep was hauling a post-hunt deer to register and/or process it. No big deal, right?
However, it was the manner in which the deer was being hauled that caught the attention of a staff photographer who was also on the road that morning.
As you can see in the photo, the deer was hanging vertically in front of the Jeep, with its hind legs towering over the roof of the car. I imagine the photographer thought pretty much the same thing that came to my mind upon seeing the image: "Now there's something you don't see every day!"
The journalist snapped a photo and later placed it onto the newspaper's Facebook. What happened next adds another layer or two to the story. The Seguin Gazette has since published two stories on the photo.
Yesterday they reported, "Initially, we thought the photo would be nothing more than a Facebook update, but our readers changed that." The Gazette also declared that the image has exploded online, "reaching more than three times Seguin's population [around 26,000] and being shared more than 600 shares times" the first time it was posted on the page.
The word of the suddenly viral image got back to the hunter who was hauling the whitetail. Bobby Wuest contacted the Seguin Gazette to talk about the picture of himself and the deer on the highway.
"It's a 160-mile trip," said Wuest, who is also the CEO of a family owned company - Wuest Inc. - that operates a chain of grocery stores called Pic-n-Pac. "I get a lot of thumbs up and perfect hand gestures, and people take pictures of it one after another. I got a lot of positive feedback from people."
The deer was a big one and Wuest's Jeep less than ideal for hauling. "I'm very active, but picking up a 200-pound buck is pretty hard," the 70-year old Wuest said. One of his friends helped him come up with a plan to effectively transport the big buck in his Jeep.
"He and I came up with this idea," Wuest continued. "It's a 205-pound Warn winch, which is basically an electric winch hooked up to the battery. It has pulleys on top, so I can pull up to 2,500 pounds. It's really neat, it goes up and down. In the photo it was at its highest."
The photo generated a lot of comments on the Seguin Gazette's Facebook page. Predictably, the comments ranged from light-hearted and humorous to negative and critical:
"I remember when people use to strap them to the hood. It wasn't even a big deal."
"Hahahah I like deer too. But I will admit, this is funnnnny !!! Only in TX !! Sometimes people just need to laugh once in awhile instead of being uptight..."
"Haul em any way you can."
And the critical:
"So disrespectful to the animal. I'm a hunter, but I've always transported the animals I kill discretely and respectfully. Hunters like this give us all a bad name. *shakes head*"
"That is just wrong AND gross. Poor thing. At least be a bit more respectful of the animal you just killed. Seriously."
"Put him in jail."
What do you think? Do you see this as a negative thing or is it a case of necessity is the mother of invention?
Wuest seems nonplussed by the reaction the photo has garnered. "I'm glad they're enjoying it," he said. "But they're not enjoying it as much as I am."