White-tailed deer killed by an omnivorous, bipedal primate with a fire-spear, Terrell County, Texas.
(Photo: H. W. Greene).
By noon David and I leave the others, who will also be departing to join their families
for Christmas, and take my deer to town for processing.
Two nights later, in the Philly airport's aptly named Terminal F—where Ithaca-bound
travelers often mutter, “We're screwed, flight's canceled”—I spot Brian Aquadro, a col-
league's son on holiday leave from the marines. A fine writer and photographer who
likes reptiles, he's carrying a Jim Harrison novel I'd recommended. Last summer he'd
admired my old carbine when we spent a morning plinking; now, when I mention the
does and tell him I'm looking to buy a scoped, flatter-shooting rifle, my young friend
feigns indignation. “Why not practice offhand, without a rest,” he advises with a smile,
“get more confidence, so no matter the circumstances, you'll shoot well with that
Winchester?” My main goals are to eat healthy meat and never make bad shots, but I
also crave some sort of primal validation, and Brian sounds wise beyond his years.