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Hunting Camp Pranks

Added: Monday, June 23rd 2008 at 8:48am by robertflynn
Related Tags: humor, entertainment

Hunting Camp Pranks


The Physiological and Psychological Benefits of Ancient Rites Practiced in Bucolic and Fraternal Settings

For reasons yet to be explained, God and the Supreme Court placed hunting season during the shortest days of the year.  For those who venture into nature to collect something edible rather than to escape TV, that means a lot of non-hunting time in hunting camp. Some hunters fill those hours with eating, drinking, arguing hunting strategies, conjuring visions of the next hunt, playing cards, eating, cooking, tinkering with mechanical devices such as hunting vehicles, cleaning hunting gear including selected game, cleaning the cabin, cleaning oneself.

While those are meaningful, productive and necessary, the serious hunter also requires creative activities.  The two fundamental exercises of the imagination are: One, the preparation, polishing and delivery of the day’s hunting story that includes in detail every animal seen, description of the width, breadth, length and points of the bucks’ horns with poetic license; and the enumeration of the number of turkeys, feral hogs and other game with manly exaggeration.  Two, preparation of the “prank.”

Benefits of hunting pranks:  Nonbelievers and other ignorant folks pretend that hunting pranks are sophomoric tricks played by born-again adolescents.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Prank benefits include:

Rejuvenation of the spirit--brings bounce to legs weary after long hikes looking for game and uplift to the spirits of the disappointed.

Subjects for conversation--contrary to popular opinion, campfires are not occasion for idle conversations but rather for discourse on the philosophy of hunting, the psychology of rifle calibers, and the chemistry of beer versus bourbon.  When the hunting stories grow thin, the prank stories begin.

Bonding--friends who laugh together are less likely to mistake each other for a turkey behind a cedar bush. 

Heart stimulation--not as great as seeing a Boone and Crockett buck but better than after a stressful day at work coming home to a tired housewife and three cross children.

Exercise--sometimes for both the pranker, hereafter referred to as the jokester, and the butt of the joke, hereafter referred to as the butt.

Stimulates Imagination:  at times when sleep does not come easily such as deciding whether to get out of a warm sleeping bag to relieve oneself in hope of getting warm again or trying to doze until the alarm goes off, the jokester can dream of new pranks; the butt can imagine what pranks he/she will face before breakfast.

Best Times for pranks:  Pranks can be played at almost any time but the experienced jokester knows jokes are not always appropriate.  For example: when a fellow hunter has in his sights the buck he has stalked for days, several pranks will come to the jokester’s mind.  Leave them there.

Best pranks for the right time:  The accomplished jokester knows the pranks most appropriate for specific times.



First cup of coffee.  Sleepers are rousing, some have coffee in their hands, some have cigarettes in one hand and coffee in the other, some are out of bed and fully clothed with a cup of coffee in hand.  Some are on the move.  The first hunter on the move is the butt of the joke.

Appropriate Gag:  Voice in the Outhouse.  Requirements: Outhouse, two walkie-talkies.  Directions: Place one walkie-talkie in a sterile place beneath the outhouse.  Turn volume all the way up.  When the butt is most exposed, the jokester, imitating a foreign voice speaks to the butt, calling him by nickname.  For example: God, “I see you, Jug.”  Curious female, “How did you get those freckles on your butt?”  The guy who makes Motel Six commercials, “We forgot to leave the light on for you.”  Note: offers infinite variety of suitable remarks.

Can-gun Attack.  Requirements: C-ration cans, duct tape, tennis balls, lighter fluid, lighter or matches, second jokester.  Directions: With a church key cut holes around the top of a can, with an ice pick punch two small holes opposite each other near the rim at the bottom of the can to make the firing device.  Cut out the tops and bottoms of additional cans and tape them to the firing devise to form the barrel.  Note: For accuracy, make the barrel long.  For rapid fire, tape several can-guns together.  Place the projectile, a new tennis ball, in the open end of the barrel until it lodges snugly against the receiver.  Jokester One holds the can-gun horizontally; Jokester Two squirts lighter fluid into the firing device.  Jokester One rotates the can-gun to spread the fluid and allow it tovaporize and aims the can-gun at the target.  Using lighter or matches, Jokester Two ignites the charge.  Note: the projectile will travel a short distance at high velocity with enough impact to knock the hat off the butt but is also effective on house trailers and outhouses.  Best usage is to awaken sleeper, startle daydreamer, or alert the inattentive hunter.  Another Note: ribbed cans are not suitable because ribbing relieves pressure on tennis ball.  Warning: avoid shooting at windows or the head of the butt.  Damage, injury or retribution may result.  Further warning: hold can-gun horizontally when preparing to fire so that lighter fluid does not leak onto head, hands or back of Jokester One causing them to ignite and Jokester One to overshoot the target.

(Can-gun attack also appropriate for Afternoon and REM time.)


Breakfast:  Over preferred breakfast--cold cereal, bacon and eggs, toast and jelly, hair of the dog--hunters discuss strategies for the morning hunt or grouse about what went wrong night before.

Appropriate prank: Mad Turkey-Hunter.  Requirements: camouflage clothing, shotgun, empty box of shotgun shells, BIG firecrackers, fireplace or pit fire.  Directions: Place explosives in empty shell box.  Jokester dressed in camouflage, tells again how he had missed a turkey at close range, explains again that he used reloads given him by a friend, complains again that the shells are worthless while shaking shell box to suggest the reloads are in the box.  Jokester declares he is going to throw them away.  Other hunters will nod agreement, whereupon the jokester throws the shell box of explosives in the fireplace.  Warning: Jokester should place himself near door or far from it to avoid being run over when first firecracker explodes.  Note: can also be used at camp fire.


Prehunt: hunters are leaving cabin and moving to hunting position before dawn.

Appropriate prank(s):  Snarling dog.  Requirement: snarling dog alarm that is triggered when moved.  Ground blind.  Directions: After the butt has left the blind on the previous day, set alarm, hang inside blind door.  Next morning when hunter starts to open the door he is greeted by the sound of snarling dogs.  Note: works best on butts who enter a blind before daylight.  Another note: Also works on outhouses.  Warning: do not to use on blinds more than five feet off the ground.

Blind blind.  Requirement: black vinyl.  Directions: the evening before, tape black vinyl over all sight openings.  Note: works best if the butt is encouraged to get into the blind before daylight and without a flashlight.  Also best on cold windy morning when the butt will wait until daylight to open the sliding windows.  Record Wait: two hours, three and one half minutes.

Mannequin poacher.  Requirement: mannequin, hunting clothes, broomstick, high stand, shills if necessary.  Directions: Dress mannequin before coming to camp.  Previous evening after hunter has left stand, place mannequin and broomstick on stand.  Note: works best after breakfast when poachers have been topic of conversation.  If required, shills should express belief that poachers should be shot.  Another Note: the butt should be encouraged to approach the stand when only mannequin silhouette is visible.  For added effect, the jokester accompanies the butt until butt sees poacher.  Jokester then says, “Let’s shoot the (insert favorite description here) poacher,” and shoots the mannequin. 


Noon meal: Some hunters hunt all day not returning to camp until after dark; others return after the morning hunt to recount the excitement of the morning while preparing lunch.

Appropriate Prank: Dog poop.  Requirements: chunky peanut butter, clean boots, shills.  Directions:  Jokester complains long and loudly about dog or dogs in camp.  Shills join in.  Before eating, jokester places chunky peanut butter between the heel and sole of his boot.  While eating, a shill complains that he can still smell dog poop.  Other shills agree.  One of them points at jokester’s boot and accuses him of tracking dog poop into the cabin.  Jokester denies that it is dog poop.  Shills declare that it is.  Jokester pokes finger into chunky peanut butter and tastes it to prove it is not dog poop.  Jokester runs out of the cabin and makes puking sounds.    

Afternoon: the time after lunch and before the afternoon hunt.  

Appropriate prank:  Machine gun.  Requirements: gravel, metal roof, veterans of a recent war.  Note: works best when the butts are taking a nap.  Directions: Take a handful of gravel and throw it in a spray at the roof.  To veteran sleepers it sounds like machine gun fire and is certain to rouse them from deepest slumber.  Warning: Ascertain that no weapons are in the house.


Afternoon hunt:  Hunters are leaving cabin for afternoon hunt.

Appropriate prank: Trophy Buck.  Requirements: old mounted deer head with antlers.  Mounted turkey or skull with horns may substitute when necessary.  Directions: Place mounted head in heavy brush or other cover.  Talk secretively to the butt about big buck (or long-bearded tom) before or after lunch describing exactly where it was seen.  Note: works best if jokester persuades the butt to ride with him so that he can point out the head that is difficult to see.     

Campfire: storytelling time between first drink and dinner

Appropriate prank: Jerky treats.  Requirements: barbecue flavored rawhide dog chews, resealable plastic bag.  Directions: Place dog chews in resealable bag and as the butts gather to enjoy an after hunt drink complete with stories, pass the dog chews as you describe how you made jerky last season.  Note: works best if you are enjoying a piece of real jerky and if the butts have started story telling.  A few may furtively discard the chews but most will work on them for fear of losing their turn in the story telling.  Another Note: May be repeated with various treats by using shills.  Be certain that one “treat” is slightly different in size or color from the others.  Shills cautiously avoid it so that it is the only one remaining for the butt who will refuse it.  Warning: After the jerkytreat prank, some butts may find it necessary to circle their beds before lying down.    

Dinner:  After much ado accompanied by mucho mess the hunters sit together to eat.

Appropriate joke: Sponge cake.  Requirements, sponge cake, preferably lemon or strawberry, kitchen sponge.  Directions: Before leaving for camp, bake sponge cake the same color as the kitchen sponge.  Remove piece of the cake the same size as the sponge and replace with the sponge before icing the cake.  Cut the cake in dimensions approximately the same as the sponge.  After arriving at camp, display the cake and proudly announce that it is for dessert after dinner.  After everyone has eaten, distribute the sponge cake making sure that the butt receives the sponge.  Note: shills can heighten the effect if they begin eating before the butt is served and loudly declare how good it is.  Another Note: If you have previously employed the jerky treat prank shills will be necessary.  

Liars club: after dinner and before sleep

Rattlesnake in sack.  Requirements: armadillo, gunny sack, dark place.  Directions: place armadillo in gunny sack and put in dark place such as hall, bathroom or outside the door to keep it quiet.   Be certain that light bulbs are removed so that dark place remains dark.  Butt going to bed, bathroom or outhouse will bump into it.  When kicked the armadillo will jump straight up.  Note: works best after campfire talk about rattlesnakes.  If necessary, a shill can say he put one in a sack.  Another shill can remark on the description and size of the rattler.

Bed time: When the butt goes to bed.

Appropriate prank(s): Recovering light.  Requirements: special switch and wiring.  If the butt is in different room than the jokester, a mirror or shill may be necessary to signal when the butt gets in bed.  Directions: Wire separate switch to light in butt’s room.  Wait until butt turns light off and gets into bed.  Turn light on.  Wait until butt turns light off and gets into bed.  Turn light on.  Note: may be repeated.

Falling bed.  Requirement: bunk beds with springs from bed frame to the wire mesh that holds up the mattress.  Directions: remove springs from bed frame.  Reattach with string holding the springs to the frame.  When butt lies down, the string will break and the bed and butt will fall.  Note: Works best on upper bunks.  Another Note: Also works best when butt is young hunter who springs into upper bunk.  Warning: If upper bunk is used be certain a hunter is not asleep in lower bunk.

REM time: When all hunters are deep in sleep.

Appropriate prank:  Choo-choo.  Requirements: spot light (found at most hunting camps), tape player (found at most hunting camps), recording of steam engine ringing bell and blowing whistle as it approaches a crossing (found in some public libraries, most university libraries with drama departments or radio stations, and commercial radio stations and novelty stores).  Slip outside but leave cabin door open.  Turn on the tape full volume, turn on the spotlight, and to the sound of train whistle, bells and engine full throttle, run through the cabin flashing the spotlight in the eyes of startled sleepers.  Note: Choo-choo, works best in remote canyons where there are no trains or tracks.  Diesel electric trains may be substituted if necessary.  Another note: effect can be heightened if you slipback into bed unseen and the following morning tell how you dreamed you were almost run over by a train.

Conclusion: The imaginative hunter can turn idle hours into happy memories equal to the finest fishing stories.

(First published in Texas Sporting Journal) 

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