"Ladies first," my hunting guide said to me as we approached the creek. I thought "how gentlemanly" as I accepted his invitation to cross the creek ahead of him. But, my thoughts quickly changed as I took the first step and sunk down in the water up to my waist. Everything got soaked, including my clothes, boots and gear. My guide had tricked me, and he was laughing hysterically. I was not. Although I usually enjoy a good practical joke, my guide had been a horrible hunting partner all day long, and his little trick just made me mad.
Even though I wasn't thrilled about getting wet, I usually love hunt camp practical jokes. I’ve been on both ends of the jokes and think they add to the fun of the hunt.
For example, I once stayed in a deer camp that was rumored to be haunted, and all the hunters spent the entire hunt trying to scare one another. I just happened to have a few pieces of my Halloween costume, including a long black wig, in my car. While everyone was sitting around chatting one night after dinner, I snuck out to the car and put on the wig. I then stood in front of the window just out of the light's reach. When the other hunters looked up and saw the strange figure with the long dark hair staring in at them, they all froze with scared and confused looks on their faces. Of course, they quickly figured out it was me, and we all had a big laugh. Two of the guys were extremely spooked by the idea of staying in a haunted lodge, so we had an especially good time trying to scare them with scary noises and slamming doors in the middle of the night. In fact, they got so scared that they ended up sleeping out in the den because they were convinced that there was a ghost in their room.
During one turkey camp, one of the hunters killed a copperhead. After making sure it was absolutely dead, we used it to torture the hunters who were terrifed of snakes. While one hunter was giving an on-camera interview, another hunter snuck up behind her and slid the snake down her shoulder. The hunter being filmed let out a blood-curdling scream and ran off camera.
During another ladies' media hunt, we convinced the lodge owner to call one of the corporate sponsors of the hunt to tell him one of the ladies had accidentally discharged her shotgun in the lodge. He then told the sponsor that all of the ladies had gotten into a big fist fight and he kicked us all out. The lodge owner said that we had caused a lot of damage and someone was going to have to pay. The corporate sponsor believed every word of it and panicked. After letting him sweat it out for a while, we told him the truth.
Although I think practical jokes can be a lot of fun, I advise hunters to avoid jokes that could ruin someone's hunt. During one turkey hunt, one of my friends emptied out another hunter’s turkey vest and filled it with rocks right before his hunt. The guy hiked in miles to his setup only to discover that all his calls, shotgun shells and hunting accessories were replaced by rocks. His morning hunt was ruined, and he was not a happy camper to say the least. I don’t think I would be either.
These are a few of the practical jokes I've been a part of or witnessed. Have you ever played a trick or practical joke on someone in hunt camp? Ever had one played on you? Any suggestions for a good hunt camp practical joke?
Get the latest news, tips and tactics in your inbox!
Stephanie Mallory is a mom, a hunter and Realtree’s PR Coordinator. She’s here to deliver an insider’s look at the outdoor business and give her opinion on all things outdoors—whether you asked for it or not.