If you share a wall with a non-hunter, don’t draw the back end of the animal on their whiteboard.
That’s true. When not writing, I work as the head of the marketing department for an 800-person electrical engineering and automation firm, and I share a wall with the head of our human resources department. I wouldn’t call her an anti-hunter, but she doesn’t typically don the camo or blaze orange for our company hunting trips. Fortunately, she has a great sense of humor and appreciates my sarcasm (I know, right? Hard to believe from someone in HR).
She balked at the idea when I first hung Mr. Gnarly on the wall. So the next time her office was empty, I went in and drew the tail end of old Mr. Gnarly on her whiteboard that shares the same wall. The best part? When I took over the office, the person leaving had a name that, when removing certain letters, spelled out “THE DEER.” I left it that way the entire time I had the office. It regularly drew some pretty good laughs from office visitors.
Mr. Gnarly is not a huge deer. In fact, it’s the smallest deer I have mounted. But, he’s a beautiful 11-point buck that boasts a third main beam and a Captain Hook-like droptine by his right ear. He’s perfectly fitting of his name, Mr. Gnarly, which implies both a level of sophistication and chaos. The exact type of thing that belongs in an office setting, right?
So what else did I learn? One this is for sure, everyone who walks by your door will do a double take. Hunters and non-hunters alike will use it as the starting point for conversations, though the conversation typically takes longer when fellow hunters want all the details of his hunt.
I angled him towards the conference table in my office, which works well for introductory meetings with vendors. By asking them to sit on the opposite side of the table, they looked across to both me and Mr. Gnarly. It was so much fun to see their eyes glance past mine to check if he was still staring them down.
It’s not all fun and games, though. I’ve had to threaten multiple co-workers with flat tires if they touch Mr. Gnarly or pet him against the grain of his perfectly combed hair. One coworker had a daughter come visit him regularly, and the first thing she always wanted to do was go back and pet the deer and she loved it. He’s a fellow hunter, so he made sure she didn’t mess him up, but it sure caused some angst for me. In fact, these concerns were enough for me to take him back home after about a year in the office. I couldn’t handle the thought of messing up his mount. And he was getting lonely away from my other mounts. Now in his place is a copy of the elk print “Calling All Challengers” by Rosemary Millette. It’s a much safer option and an equally fitting piece for my office.
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