The worst day hunting is better than the best day in the office…unless you’re hunting with these guys.
Those of us blessed enough to make a living writing about hunting and the outdoors have a few little secrets. One of them is that when we’re on assignment, we often don’t have much choice in who will be sharing the hunting camp with us. Most of the time, that’s a good thing; it means we’re exposed to lots of different viewpoints and techniques. But every now and then, we roll the dice and come up snake-eyes. Here are three different guys in hunting camp that I could just do without, forever, thank you very much.
Have you ever heard of the “Dunning-Kruger” effect? Essentially, it’s the concept that the less a given person knows about a subject, the more likely they are to think of themselves as experts. (And vice-versa, too. People who are deeply knowledgeable about a subject are usually overly humble about their level of understanding.) If that doesn’t make much sense, don’t worry, neither does Lord Dunning-Kruger.
You will meet Lord Dunning-Kruger as he holds court in the camp kitchen. Lord Dunning-Kruger knows all. He knows more than the outfitter, the guides, and most of all, more than you. Furthermore, he will tell you all about it whether you like it or not. If Lord Dunning-Kruger ever had an unexpressed thought, it would rattle around in his skull like a BB in a boxcar.
I wouldn’t mind Lord Dunning-Kruger’s extended soliloquies if he actually knew what he was talking about. But he doesn’t, and that’s why he’s Lord Dunning-Kruger. I’d tell him so if he ever stopped talking.
Mr. Bolivian Marching Powder
Mr. Bolivian Marching Powder may not currently be inhaling, ingesting, or injecting an illegal stimulant of some kind. But you couldn’t prove it by watching him; Mr. BMP is full of beans. He’s wide awake at 3:30 in the morning, and he’s all ready to tell you about why you’re holding him up because you want 10 minutes to drink a cup of coffee before you go handle loaded firearms. This would be no more than a “morning person vs. night person” personality conflict if it weren’t for one thing…
…Mr. Bolivian Marching Powder is a night person, too! Did you want to call it an early night so you’d be nice and fresh for 4:00 a.m. tomorrow? Too bad! He’s riding high, talking fast and loud, and there just ain’t enough beer in this camp to settle him down. He and Lord Dunning-Kruger have a bull session planned for the hours of midnight through 3:30 a.m., and they’re both deaf as posts. Hope you brought your earplugs.
I would spend the rest of my life joined at one hip to Lord Dunning-Kruger and to Mr. BMP at the other one before I spent another day in camp with King Flag. (Too bad I don’t have that choice.) King Flag isn’t always an obnoxious person to be around; sometimes he’s a fairly nice fellow. Nice, that is, unless you’re talking about his gun handling. King Flag is so named because the muzzle of his firearm has never met a soft target it didn’t like.
Good morning, King Flag! I see you’ve already loaded your magazine and racked one into the chamber. That’s nice. It’s even nicer how you have the muzzle flagging…well, let’s see, what are you flagging? My chest, the guide’s chest, the truck’s dashboard, and we haven’t even gotten to the blind yet! I appreciate the adrenaline rush–that sure woke me up faster than the coffee–but could you maybe? See your way clear? As a favor to me? To point your *%#$ing shotgun somewhere that isn’t a part of my body that I will miss if I lose it?
Have you ever met one of these guys in hunting camp? Tell us in the comments!