The Deer Hunter and the shaman 1/3/2008
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#1912573 - 01/03/08 07:07 AM The Deer Hunter and the shaman  from

The Deer Hunter and the shaman

“What are you doing?” asked the hunter.

“Oh, hello.” said the shaman, seeming to be under a great stress. “Would you mind handing looping that little thing over that thing there and clipping it into the that little brass thingus?”

“Like this?”

“Like that, if you don't mind.”

The hunter complied with the instruction and the shaman was able to release the rope he was holding. He was absolutely spent.

“What are you doing?” asked the hunter.

“I decided to try something to prove a point.” said the shaman. “They carted off the poor devil who made that yesterday.” He pointed a finger at the field of cattle and the odd machine that still lay in the middle of the pasture.

“Yes,” said the hunter. “That was quite a show.”

“Can you believe that he was going to go through thousands of head of cattle trying to figure out what the absolute best deer cartridge was?''

“Ridiculous.” said the hunter. “I use 350 Remington Magnum on them. 225 grain Barnes TSX over . . .blather, blather, with blather blather blather and that's really all you need. Anything else is overkill.”

“Precisely what I was getting at.” said the shaman. “And how did you arrive at that?”

“I read every magazine article I could, talked to all my friends, researched it on several websites and bought three ballistic programs for my PC to test my strategies.”

“Did you ever think of using a physics book?” asked the shaman.

“No,” said the hunter. “I have to admit that I never have.”

“And were you killing deer before you bought your 350 Remington Magnum?”

“Yes,” said the hunter. “I shot them for years with a 270 Winchester.”

“And did the deer die?”

“Yes,” said the hunter, “But I was going to Canada on a big hunt and I wanted a new rifle and so I got the absolute best rifle I could find for those big northern deer.”

“Did you get anything with it?”

“Yes, a magnificent 12-pointer on the last day. I shot him at 10 paces. He scored 170 B&C with . . . blather blather . . .G2's were . . . blather blather. . . and he tasted great!”

“And do you think the 270 Winchester would have done the same?”

“It might have. All I know is that my new rifle is absolutely the best.”

“Well,” said the shaman, “I am testing my latest deer load.”

“With that contraption?”

“Please,” said the shaman. “This is not a contraption. It's a trebuchet. I'm attempting to do something that has never been done before.”

“What is that?”

“I am going to finally apply physics to the discussion of how to kill a whitetail deer.”

“How is that?”

“I borrowed the contraption that the cowboy left, and I've managed to build a device that launches used physics textbooks with precision and I am about to launch a text book at that cow down there and see if it kills it.”

“This I have to see.”

“I too have been reading on the forums and picking up magazines and books over the years. No one went back and looked at the physics of it all.”

“What physics was that?”

“That all physics textbooks are now pretty much surplus with the advent of web-based content. I'm picking up these suckers at pennies a ton. They're much cheaper than bullets now. I take them back to my basement and interleave lead foil between the pages to get them up to a standard weight, I then dip them in an acrylic resin so they have uniform resistance and then lauch them out of this enormous trebuchet at deer-sized targets. I borrowed the cowboy's setup to get the final bugs worked out.

“That's incredible!!!” said the hunter. “You actually think you can kill something with that?”

“Of course,” said the shaman. “Oh don't think I haven't had my problems. I tried just dropping these things out of trees. All they did was annoy the deer. So I put a big metal spike in the book, but I could never get the spike to hit just right. Then I tried taking a whole pile of books and burying the deer under the pile, but I found that though the deer might be stunned at first, there just was not enough motive force in the books to do much in the way to kill them. Eventually, they'd work their way out from the bottom of the pile and run off, and I'd lose them. I was never sure they were mortally wounded.

“So then I hit on this idea-- the trebuchet. I always wanted to build something like this-- launch bowling balls across the pasture with my friends on a hot Saturday afternoon. This was my chance. I built this thing with the help of some buddies with power tools, and then I hit a brick wall.

“I thought you were trying to hit deer.”

“I was.” said the shaman. “The brick wall was figurative. Here is what I found out: If you take a physics textbook and impart enough force to it to chuck it across a field at a deer, the shearing effect of the wind is so great that it rips the cover off. The next thing you know the pages are going hither and thither and all you have is shredded book out in the middle of the field, less than a third of the way to the target.”

“Seems pretty obvious to me.”

“So then I decided to go high-tech.” said the shaman. “I built the ultimate premium text book. This is it. I told you: Uniform weight using lead foil, and then an acrylic dip to bond the pages. Here's the real kicker: see this? Poly-carbonate corners. I found that you need to put spin on the book to keep it accurate and when the corner hits the side of the deer it just tears the snot out of them!”

“And you say this kills deer?” asked the hunter.

“Well,” said the shaman. “It will, if I ever get the bugs worked out.”


“Well, the textbooks have gotten so heavy that I'm starting to see problems with the trebuchet. I may have to build a bigger unit that stands up to the force. This one may shake itself loose after too many more attempts. I've thought about going to lighter books, or sawing the book in half, but then I wouldn't be lauching a whole college level physics book at the deer. I would not be achieving my goal. It would not be sporting-- I hear small textbooks just make a mess on the hide and don't do much else. By the way, I'm almost ready to make a test shot. Would you like to pull the release?”

“No!” said the hunter. “In fact, I'd like to get back a ways before you try.”

“Oh,” said the shaman. “I've already built a cinder block bunker back there in anticipation. You're welcome to come join me in the launch pit.”

“You're mad!” said the hunter. “You're absolutely mad! I don't know what you thought you were trying to prove, but you're insane. You can't kill deer with a physics book!”


“You can't kill deer with a physics book!”

“Say that one more time, please. I'm not sure I understand.

“You can't kill deer with a physics book!”

“You can't?”

“No! “ said the hunter.


“Absolutely.” said the hunter. “Forget what you're doing. It isn't going to work. Just go to the store, buy a nice deer rifle that makes you feel good and be done with it! This isn't about physics. It's about hunting! ”

“You're sure?” asked the shaman.

“I couldn't be more sure.” said the deer hunter.

"But my acrylic super-book!" cried the shaman. "I've got so much invested in it."

"If you want to hunt deer with a trebuchet, why don't you use a 2 lb lead ball. It will do a pretty could job on them." said the hunter. "Cast up your balls, go have some fun. I bet you haven't been out in the woods since you got started on this dang project. Better yet, go to Walmart and buy downrigger cannonball weights."

“You're right! I Thank you.” said the shaman. “I think we finally have agreement.” He placed the acrylic-encased ultra-premium physics book with the poly-carbonate corners in the hands of the deer hunter and walked off.

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