Announcing Human Season
by Gary Hardaway
Studies showed that the population of highly assertive human beings had reached an unsustainable level. The State responded with Human Hunting Season, from June 1 through July 31 each year, and worked with private landowners to establish a system of Human Hunting Leases throughout the Hill Country and the Piney Woods. West Texas landowners were offended that their arid acres were excluded by the Plan but, as a compromise, are allowed to apply for State subsidies instead.
Contest rules are simple. Two teams of five hunters each are established by drawing from pools of interested volunteers and selected prison inmates confined for capital crimes and illegal immigration. Team members must be between 18 and 64 years of age. Each hunter is allowed one bolt-action rifle with scope and a six-cartridge magazine, forty-two rounds of ammunition, an eight-inch hunting knife, a compass, and a canteen. GPS devices, electronic communications, flack jackets and protective body armor are strictly prohibited. Corporate sponsorship for compliant clothing is encouraged but each team must have a different sponsor so that a clear winner can be known. Sponsors may also pay for the hunting licenses required. To date, Cabella's, Bass Pro Shops, Walmart, Exxon-Mobil, and Chik-Fil-A have agreed to sponsor ten teams each. Other corporate sponsorships are in the works and will be announced as agreements are finalized. Coed teams are permitted but must have a coed opponent in each match. Same-sex teams must compete against teams of their own gender.
Once selected and equipped, teams are blindfolded and delivered by 4x4, seven-passenger SUV (advertising opportunities available through the State Parks and Recreation Department) to a predetermined location with a supply of fresh water in the form of a spring, creek, or pond. Each team may have one pair of binoculars but night vision equipment is prohibited. Food rations are not provided and the hunting license does not allow for the hunting of squirrels, rabbits or other woodland creatures. All kills must be field dressed and may be eaten, except for the heads. The heads are needed for positive identification. Ears and fingers may be kept as tokens but the collection of sexual organs as trophies is prohibited. State fire officials are on hand to control cooking fires that get out of hand.
The hunts last for 72 hours and at the conclusion of regulation time of play, a head count is taken to determine the winning team. Families of the slain will be notified within 24 hours of the end of the match. Victorious teams may then enlist new members and proceed to the next round towards eventual championship hunts at the end of each season with champions in Men's, Women's, and Coed divisions. Contact the Governor's Office for team franchise applications, possible broadcast arrangements, and other investment opportunities.