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The peace of the early morning Campfire was suddenly destroyed as the shaman came roaring in.

"Everybody!" he exclaimed. "I've found it."

"It wasn't me!" said another. "I made it to the bushes last night. Honest!"

"I've got the answer!" said the shaman.

"The answer to what?" asked a camper.

"To what?"

"To how I'm going to make money now that I've been ditched by the foundry! I've got an invention."

"What kind of invention?"

"It solves a problem inherent to deer hunting." said the shaman. "I've always wondered how guys could spend all this money on scent control products and then do nothing about their stinky breath."

"It's been done." said a camper. "Go Google gumoflage."

"Ah!" said the shaman. "Gumoflage is only half the answer. I've solved the rest of the problem."

"What problem is that?"

"So you have chewing gum that takes scent away." said the shaman. "How do you disperse a cover scent?"

"I use boot pads."

"I use a drag."

"I use scent bombs."

"I carry a live goat with me." said one fellow.

"A live goat?"

"They reek." replied the fellow.

"Does it work?"

"It depends on how you define 'work.'" replied the fellow. "I don't see many deer, but the goat and I have get along just fine. I don't get lonely on my stand anymore."

"I finally took this Gumoflage thing to a whole new level." said the shaman. "You no longer need all these scent products. All you need is gum. Cover scent gum. Here."

The shaman started passing out an assortment of gum sticks. Some were marked "Grape" "Apple" "Persimmon." Others had more exotic flavors: "Pine" "Cedar" "Fox Urine" and "Skunk Urine"

"Well," said the shaman. "Try 'em!" Some campers complied. Others hesitated.

"What's the matter?" asked the shaman.

"No thanks." said a camper, passing the stick back.

"Here, I'll trade you." said another camper.

"What have you got?"

"What have you got?"

"Skunk Urine."

"I've got Interdigital."

"I've got Doe Estrus." added another. "Anyone want to swap?"

"I'll swap you a Tarsal Big Buck Challenge"

The man with the goat offered to take that one. He popped it in his mouth and started to chew. "Not bad!" he said. "Do you have one for my goat? " Several sticks were quickly offered.

"So," said the shaman proudly. "Do I have a winner?"



. . .

"Funny," said the fellow, with the goat. "I've never seen a goat spit anything out."

"Is there a problem?" asked the shaman. As he turned to see what was going on, several wads of gum came out of campers mouths and flew into the fire.

"Problem?" said the fellow. "No, not a problem. I just think it's funny that my goat just spit up his gum."

"He doesn't hunt deer, does he?" asked the shaman.

"No," said the fellow. "He just comes along for the company."

"But you like the gum." said the shaman. "Right?"

"Oh," said the fellow. "Fine by me. I don't have much of a sense of taste or smell. "

"Would you be interested in becoming a member of my pro staff?"

"Sure." said the fellow. "What do you want me to do?"

"Just use my special shamanic gum," said the shaman, "And then tell how successful you are."

"I'm not very successful." said the guy.

"You've killed deer, haven't you?"

"Why, yes. Is that a requisite of the job?"

"I'd think so." said the shaman.

"Oh, certainly. Yes, I have. I kill one every few years."

"Good." said the shaman. "Then you can tell how much your hunting success improves when using my gum."

"Oh," said the fellow. "You mean killing deer while hunting?"

"I'd think so." said the shaman. "Is there a problem?"

"Well," said the fellow. "I'm actually a benchrest shooter. That's why I'm on here. I just deer hunt so my goat and I can have quality time together. I've never actually shot a deer."


"No." said the fellow. "I'm learning though."

"How long have you been at it?"

"Fifteen years."

"Oh." said the shaman dejectedly. "But you said you killed deer every few years. How's that?"

"I hit them with my pickup. About every couple of years, I total the truck hitting deer. Do you think the gum will improve my chances?"

"Roll down the window." said a camper that wished to remain anonymous. "No deer will come near this stuff!"

The shaman whirled around, but no one would meet his gaze.



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