Sunday, November 27, 2005

Carrion as carry on

My brother-in-law came to town for the holiday weekend to go hunting with his dad, my father-in-law.

After 4 days, the tally came to 1 (one) 200-300 lb. feral pig, 1 (one) 9-point buck, 2 boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts, and 4 cups of questionable truck stop coffee.

The majority of the pig (squeal and all) was left out in nature to contribute to the local food chain. Pork chops and the ugliest wild pig head you can imagine, came home with the intrepid hunters. Wanting to keep the skull for a trophy -- enhanced with some major tuskage -- my bro-in-law looked for someone in town who had "those bugs" that would munch the pigs skull clean of flesh and muscle in a matter of days. Didn't find anyone, so he spent an afternoon skinning it, then bagged it and stuck it into his folks upright freezer. It was the highlight of our Thanksgiving dinner.

His buck was a simpler task. After field dressing it and dropping the bulk of the hulk off at one of many meat processing stations in the state, he brought home the head, skinned it, and chopped off the skull cap section where the antlers were attached. I didn't ask, but I imagine the rest of the head went out back for the coyotes to munch on. The antlers and head pelt he'll take back home where he will mount it himself -- in addition to being a talented outdoor writer and PR Director for a national sportman's organization, my humble bro-in-law is an experienced taxidermist.

So, the frozen pig skull (sans skin) is packed up and will go through check-in. The deer head skin and bear pelt (that's another story -- he sent it here to be tanned by a fella he learned taxidermy from, after killing it in Montana earlier this year) will also be checked in.

The buck antlers will be carried on by his lovely and understanding wife.

Would love to see the TSA Officer's reaction when they x-ray the bag with the pig skull in it. Are razor sharp tusks considered contraband?

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