Last fall, I shot my first whitetail deer. It was my third year hunting for deer and my first real chance I had at shooting one, so I took it.
I had my doe permit and therefore was legally able to shoot one. I am not a sport hunter looking for a big rack. I just want good, fresh, local meat to put in the freezer to feed my family. So, on opening day, minutes after the sun came up, my eyes followed a doe walking towards me and when she came closer, I pulled the trigger.
She dropped dead instantly. I had shot her through the heart.
After dragging her out of the woods, I hung her up and removed her hide. I rolled it up and put it into my freezer. I knew I was not going to have time for it now and would save it for another time (coming soon!).
I broke the body down and iced it. I had never butchered an animal bigger than a chicken before but I was determined to do this myself. I’ll spare you all the details — you can read about those in a book. I recommend The Beginner’s Guide to Hunting Deer for Food by Jackson Landers. It was my guide and it served me well.
What I want to write about here though is what I did with the deer’s head.
I had read about burying the head in the ground to let the bugs clean it up and decided I’d give it a try. I took my ax and severed the head from the body. The deer’s eyes were glassy and it’s tongue hung from it’s open mouth. This was a death metal album personified.
I dug a deep hole near my vegetable garden and tossed the head and legs in. I then covered it with soil (not before snapping a pic) and placed an old plastic bin over the top of it to keep the animals away.
The leaves fell and the snow came.
Throughout the winter, I often thought about that frozen deer head in the ground, wondering if it would still be there come spring. I mean, there was always the off chance that it would get possessed by a demon, dig itself out of its grave, and torture me in my sleep.
Too many horror movies. Too much death metal.
Well, spring arrived and the ground begin to thaw and I began to think of the head more and more. Eventually, after a few months of thawed ground, I decided it was time to dig it up.
I went outside as the sun began to set and like some perverted grave robber, began to dig up the shallow grave.
Daylight was fading fast so I was working quickly. I hurriedly but carefully dug as not to damage the skull. When some dirty white began to show, I dropped the shovel and used my hands to clear the dirt away.
I pulled the skull up out of the ground and was overwhelmed by a pungent stench. Some skin and fur still dangled from the head and from out the back of the skull dripped some partially decomposed brain.
It was fucking disgusting.
I retched but did not vomit. Excitement quickly overcame my disgust.
I grabbed the hose and began spraying the skull and bones. Whatever fur or flesh was left on them was now peeling off with ease. However, the brain-mush was still attached in places inside of the skull. A knife and screwdriver were necessary to remove those bits.
After the bone was free of all flesh, I gave them all a quick wash and placed them into a bucket of Hydrogen Peroxide. I felt like a goddamn mad scientist. Check out the video of the peroxide bubbling:
I left them there for days to whiten them.
I then removed the skull and bones, sprayed them off once again, and let them dry in the sun. After they were dry, I sprayed them with a clear matte glaze to better preserve them.
Lastly, I attached the skull to a piece of live-edge wood.
It was all a hell of an experience (probably the most metal thing I have ever done and I’ve seen Mayhem live). I hope to take part in it again this coming year. Only this time, I hope to get myself a buck because although I earlier stated that I did not care about getting a big rack, that was only partially true. I would absolutely love to have a big rack to mount on my wall.
Lucky for me, I’ve spotted a buck only a short walk from my home. Unlucky for him, I know he’s there. My 30.06 rifle scope is sighted-in and I’m ready to kill again.
Soundtrack for digging up a decomposing deer head:
Cannibal Corpse – “Skull Full of Maggots”
This needs no explanation. Of course I picked this song!
It’s not every day you get to live out the lyrics to a Cannibal Corpse song without being put in prison for the rest of your life. Hashtag blessed! (Did I do that right?)
Lying there cold after a torturous death. Your life ended fast you took your last breath. Dead in a grave, your final place. The maggots infest your disfigured face.