McGee: More than one way to enjoy deer

So The Lady of the House and I have returned from another journey to the American Southland to visit her kin and my momma.

We stayed off the interstate highways, spending time passing through small towns from Texas to Florida and back. We tried local foods when we stopped like Texas barbecue, Louisiana battered and fried boudin sausage balls and Cuban cuisine in Florida.

After a while we started to notice that all of the grocery stores and gas stations had piles of bags labeled “DEER CORN” beside their front doors.

“Oh, isn’t that sweet,” said The Lady of the House, “People around here like to feed the deer.”

Somewhere deep in central Texas we passed a man driving a 4-wheeler ATV loaded with a few sacks of deer corn and what looked like a spreader.

“Look,” said The Lady of the House, “He’s taking the corn out to where the deer live. It’s just like pizza delivery.”

“Um, yeah,” I said, “But I’m not sure you know why they’re feeding the deer.”

“The same reason people feed the birds,” she said. “To help them through the winter.”

“They spread the deer corn to bring the deer in during hunting season,” I said. “Its like chumming when you’re fishing.”

“Noooo,” said The Lady of the House. “They shoot Bambi?”

“Sometimes they use bows and arrows.”

“That’s just not right.”

“Well, they say deer is good eating. Some folks like a good venison steak. Then there’s venison stew and venison chili. And some people even make venison jerky.”

“Enough,” she said. “You sound like Bubba in the ‘Forrest Gump’ movie: ‘Fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, shrimp gumbo…’”

“I’m sure I can think of some more.”

“Well, I guess I can understand,” said The Lady of the House.

“After all I do enjoy a good Thumper stew every now and then.”