As is true of pretty much all truly terrible ideas ever entertained by mankind I can tell you that I have, once, hiked with a young buck a little over a year old. Many are the people who said it could not be done! It most certainly can be done, but here is a short and very *ahem* pointed *ahem* list of why that doesn’t work out too well. For those out there who just can’t feel castration is justified, I am here to tell you after some of my not so fun shenanigans if it packs it gets wethered at my place. A life of packing is better than the stew pot, right?
Unless you are physically incapable of utilizing your sense of smell, you will know during the Fall when you are within range of a buck pretty quickly. The smell travels out in front of him, like a halo of halitosis brought on more by urine and sweat than bad dental hygiene. Touch him, even lightly, and that smell is now on you! So even though the smell might be a boon for keeping people away from you on the trail, imagine going through the drive thru after the hike smelling like you rolled on the floor of one of the less well kept up forms of public restroom.
THE VIOLENCE & ATTITUDE
Bucks are the sort of hard drinking no humor men you see at the type of bar where the establishment can’t hold onto a regular bouncer for long. Think testosterone poisoning on four legs. Think you’ll make friends if the buck mauls some doberman or worse yet, some suicidally stupid kid? Probably not. So leave Mr. Spoiling For a Rumble at the house.
Also remember that to a buck HE is the herd leader. You are not! Do you want to have a death match when you’re tired because he feels you affronted his dignity? How do you feel about be attacked from behind while you’re trying to eat dinner around the fire because he wants to demonstrate his dominance. Trust me, it’s really not worth it.
SOCIAL SKILLS (OR LACK THERE OF)
Do you really want to be holding the lead of an animal that will urinate on himself, drink his own urine, gibber in a way that would make a member of any species blush in embarrassment, try to mount any object that looks remotely goat-esque, and groom his own sexual organs in public? Don’t get yourself banned from the trail head by keeping bad company!
THE WANDERING TROUBADOR
That buck may have been loyal to you as a buckling, but when he becomes a full on buck forget about it. He’ll leave you in a heart beat to jump a fence for a herd of does. If you don’t want to have to pay for the fence damage, the lutalyse to abort a whole herd of does, and the park service for all the paperwork they have to fill out, don’t bring a buck.
LADIES IN THE LINEUP
Simply put: You bring a buck and you can’t bring any of your eligible bachelorettes to pack. Or you’ll have a trail side orgy to explain to passerby’s.