Deer camp & gay bars

(Beth Clifton photo)

A 1974 study by James Kennedy for the Wildlife Society found that 75% of the hunters surveyed would prefer hunting with their buddies in an area with only a 10% chance of killing a deer to hunting alone with a 50% chance of making the kill.

Seeking the kill is only the pretext for the various other rituals that “separate the men from the boys,” determining “who’s a pussy.”

This,  not the supposed difficulty of shooting a deer,  probably best explains why approximately 70% of all licensed hunters don’t get one – while those for whom the kill is the paramount experience tend to “get their deer” year after year,  perennially bagging the limit and/or placing high in the buck pool.

The deer camp atmosphere of exaggerated masculinity is apparently not unlike the atmosphere of “leather trade” gay bars,  albeit that the gay bars more likely try to emulate deer camps than the other way around.

Ernest Hemingway himself appears on this book cover, with a lion he shot in Kenya in 1934. But the story the photo illustrates does not portray hunters in a positive light.

“Hunting is anything but expression of manhood”

One must wonder,  ultimately,  how sexually secure any of the posturing denizens are.

“You can take my word for it,” snorted former hunting guide Douglas Townsend some years ago.  Having escorted hundreds of big game hunters,  he concluded,  “This hunting habit is anything but an expression of manhood.”

Gregory Hemingway,  son of author Ernest Hemingway,  would probably have concurred.

Trying to impress his macho father,  a living symbol of hunters and hunting to a whole generation,  Gregory at age 11 won the World Life Pigeon Shooting Championship.  At 19 he was arrested for transvestitism.  Trying to regain his father’s respect,  he next slaughtered 18 elephants on a single African safari.

(Beth Clifton collage)

Gregory turned Gloria

But Gregory Hemingway remained an unhappy transvestite,  who spent,  he admitted in a 1987 interview,  “hundreds of thousands of dollars” trying to overcome the cross-dressing habit.  He had partial sexual reassignment surgery in 1995 and changed his first name to Gloria,  but then changed his mind,  tried to have the surgery reversed,  and remarried his fourth ex-wife.

Gregory/Gloria Hemingway died on October 1,  2001 at the Miami-Dade Women’s Detention Center,  hours before he was to appear in court after being arrested for indecent exposure and resisting arrest.

Gregory Hemingway appears to have never been an actual practicing homosexual,  just insecure – like his father,  who likewise spent his whole life trying to prove masculinity that no one else ever seriously called into question.

Marysville school shooter Jaylen Ray Fryberg (Facebook)

“Killed the wrong animal”

Literally killing the female,  Cameron Robert Kocher of Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, nearly ten years old,  said he was only “playing hunter” on March 6, 1989, when he fatally shot Jessica Ann Carr,  age seven,  with his father’s rifle.

Observing subsequent legal proceedings,  Cleveland State University law professor Victor L. Streib unequivocally blamed the killing on Kocher’s exposure to guns and hunting. “All he has done,” Streib summarized,  “is kill the wrong animal.”

There have been hundreds of comparable incidents,  including one not far from ANIMALS 24-7.  Avid hunter Jaylen Ray Fryberg, 14, on October 24,  2014 shot five fellow students at Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington, killing two, putting two more into critical condition, and then killing himself

(See Marysville school shooter loved hunting & pit bulls;  and Killing the white deer & the Marysville massacre.)

Woodchucks. (Susan Federico photo)

“Just another woodchuck”

An upstate New York man named Dave Goff cited childhood hunting experience,  which he said helped him learn to “kill the wrong animals,”  in persuading former Congressional Representative James T. Walsh to obtain for him a Distinguished Service Cross,  a Silver Star,  and nine other medals for Vietnam War service that he never performed.

“I was brought up on a dairy farm,”  Goff explained to syndicated veterans’ affairs columnist Laura Palmer.  “I used to shoot woodchucks all the time.  It got to the point where I would flash it through my head that it was just another woodchuck and it didn’t mean anything.  It was just a job.”

Goff claimed to have been assigned to killing civilians as part of the CIA’s infamous Operation Phoenix while still in his teens.  After military service,  Goff said,  he went through 13 years of breakdowns and alcohol abuse,  trying to deprogram himself from having been a killer,  trying to find his way into becoming a caring,  responsible human being.

Walsh saw to it that Goff in 1989 received the medals he said he had earned.  But Goff was in 1994 prosecuted for unlawfully wearing military medals and decorations,  after Stolen Valor author B.G. Burkett established that Goff actually spent his alleged time in Vietnam as an Army mail clerk in Okinawa.

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