The little knot of camouflaged humans sat quietly among the bushes and waited for their prey to come into view.
Finally, one raised his rifle and took careful aim at the deer. He gently squeezed the trigger. The deer, hit, staggered and finally fell to the ground.
Wordlessly, the five in the hunting party stood up and moved toward the animal.
“Look at that,” one whispered. “A big 10-pointer.”
“Quite a trophy,” another agreed.
“Let’s get him dressed,” said a third.
The marksman bent down and plucked the tranquilizer dart from the buck’s shoulder as the others performed their well-learned task. They took a large covering from a backpack and unfolded it. It was striped: safety orange and clear. They grunted as they worked to get one of the straps under the enormous animal.
Soon, they were done and the deer began to awaken. They scampered back to their place of concealment to watch. The sniper had another dart ready, just in case.
The buck stood and shook himself a little, throwing off the lingering traces of his brief, unexpected nap. He looked at the strange blanket he was now wearing and shook himself again. The blanket remained in place. It smelled of humans, but there didn’t seem to be any harm in it. He wandered farther into the woods, and the humans turned in the other direction.
“That’s the last of the foolers,” one noted.
“Those won’t stop the hunt,” another said, “but when a hunter sees that orange maybe he’ll think twice or even three times before shooting.”
“Best way to hide a deer during hunting season is in plain sight,” the shooter said. “If our covered deer look a little like another hunting party, they might just get away.”
“And if some hunters get wise to the trick and shoot anything that moves, orange or not, that’ll thin their herd.”
The members of Bambi’s Bushwhackers, a secret anti-hunting group, chuckled about that as they headed for their pickups.