George Covington is among the more colorful characters living in Big Bend. A regular columnist for the Alpine Avalanche, he is both legally blind and a photographer, and was a White House advisor to, of all people, Vice President Dan Quayle. He penned the following essay, which I am reprinting here with his permission, because it is further evidence toward my long-standing opinion that since deer are a menace to society, there should be more of them in my freezer.
By George A. Covington
Prepare yourself for a tale of terror.
Robbye Stokes, a conscientious and vigilant resident of Alpine Manor, was witness to one of a number of vicious attacks that have occurred in Alpine and will occur again unless we can stop the vicious beasts. Her Westie, Nieve, was sleeping quietly on her back porch when the wee beast let out a blood-curdling scream. Robbye rushed to the door and discovered that a deer had stomped the sleeping pup. Robbye grabbed pots and pans and chased the deer away. She has had to repeat the tossing of pots and pans on numerous occasions since the vicious attack. Little Nieve was forced to wear a cast on her hind leg for weeks.
If this were only the story of one malcontent deer it wouldn’t have the element of terror we now know it possesses. Radio Ray Hendryx, media mogul of the High Desert, says his Beagle, Sweetie, came off the loser in another confrontation with the giant, four-legged rodent berserkers. He explained that Sweetie was not the brightest dog in the pack and had been known to attack lawn mowers, weed whackers and 18-wheeler trucks. Sweetie was ripped from stem to stern but damage was done only to her coat and the vet quickly sewed her up and sent her back.
An even more terrible tale of terror is told by Andy Cloud, Director of the Center for Big Bend Studies and Alpine’s answer to Indiana Jones. “I live adjacent to Ray and Rita Hendryx and actually warned them last February after I had a massive buck attack my mid-size dog (Blue Heeler-Australian Sheppard mix). Although pushing 11 years in age, she was barely able to duck the attack (so no blood)—the behemoth went over her—but she was severely traumatized over the incident. I was standing in very close proximity to her (with a four-foot cedar stick in my hand) when it happened. After the pass he stopped and looked at me like I was next. I then mimicked the ape-man in ‘2001 A Space Odyssey’ and went ballistic and successfully chased the deer out of the yard. If he had charged me like he had my dog I would have been toast. He kept coming back to my backyard desert garden over the next two weeks. I had 5-6 more incidences.”
This season we must be united in our goal of controlling the rampant violence, disease and other social disorders caused by deer. Annually, 1 million deer attack 1 million vehicles, causing $1 billion in damage nationwide.
These vandals are responsible for illegally crossing our borders carrying innumerable diseases, encouraging illegal immigration, drug running, and possibly global warming. They carry dear tick fever, which causes illness among harmless ticks and the dreaded Lyme disease. For years I thought Lyme disease was an aversion to limes, until somebody spelled it for me. There may be relief on the horizon thanks to a condition called Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).
Hope is on the horizon. Shortly, deer season will open. Men who couldn’t carry groceries twenty feet will miraculously develop the strength to carry guns, ammunition and tons of beer up steep mountainsides and down narrow canyons. We must direct this ominous force in a new direction. Rather than forcing these fearless warriors out into the harsh environs of the High Desert, everyone with a deer problem should leave a six-pack of beer on their front porch and we can watch the deer disappear.
This year we can enlist the entire family in this true war of righteousness. Don’t go lurking off into your usual hunting grounds Men of our Mountains. Teach your wife, your sons, your daughters to sling lead at these four-legged monstrosities. Remember the motto from the cult classic “Texas Chainsaw Massacre”? It should be over the mantle of every home in the West. “The Family that Slays Together Stays Together.”