The thought of a zombie deer herd beneath your treestand should induce a few nightmares. Normally the prey, these rabid, agile animals now would like nothing more than to chase you down and eat you alive. The worst part? They are both faster and stronger than you.
They can’t however, climb trees.
I mean, have you ever seen a deer try to climb a tree? I guarantee you that it is hilarious. No, even zombiefied deer are still pretty much land-bound. Of course, you can’t stay in a tree forever, but consider it a safe haven especially at night time. You’re going to have to sleep somewhere, and do you really want to do it on the ground where you might be woken by a bunch of does nibbling on your arm?
Hunting is a bonding activity and as such, many people hunt with family and friends. This could be very important in the inevitable zombie deer outbreak. Even if not all of you are armed, you can still provide support for one another, especially if one person in the group is injured. This makes gathering food, fighting off waves of zombie deer, and building wooden fortresses all that much easier. Honestly, if the zombie deer outbreak is that bad in the wilderness, you’re probably going to want to avoid the zombie pigeons in the cities.
Odds are you didn’t bring a few thousands rounds of ammunition with you to deer camp (not to mention mortars, hand grenades, and landmines). With a little bit of foresight, you might have prepared ahead, but you didn’t. That’s okay. But whatever ammunition you did bring with you must be conserved. Deer are pretty hardy animals, and if it takes a lot of skill to make a clean kill on a live deer, how much harder do you think a zombie deer would be?
Answer: pretty hard. You’ll probably need a lot of bullets, and for those of you who came into the forest with a bow or crossbow, you’re in luck. As long as you take good care of them, those arrows will last you a long time.
Forget all about lung or heart shots, the brain shot is the only way to take down one of these fiendish ungulates. Just like human zombies, dead deer have relatively squishy skulls and just about any round will probably make their heads explode like a ripe watermelon. Feel free to yell out “HEADSHOT!” whenever you down one of your assailants. Not only is it a morale booster, it will also let others in your hunting party know that a potential threat has been taken care of. Calling out killstreaks or radioing for an airstrike, however, is not considered good sportsmanship.
Some suggested weapons: bow and arrow, rifle, shotgun, spear, atlatl, handgun, large dart, throwing knives, tomahawk, weaponized Frisbee, day-old scones, scones in general, and grand pianos.
As with any zombie outbreak, visibility is a top priority. According to Hollywood experts/interns, the best way to achieve total situational awareness is to have bright lights and avoid background music. The same is true here. Try to find a spot where you can see any zombies approaching long before they get within antler range, preferably with an escape route planned out. Avoid areas dense in trees, unless you want to be a part of a traditional forest chase scene that will, of course, end with you being knocked out by a low-hanging tree branch.
For those of you hunting in cold weather, you should already be outfitted with several layers of clothes. The additional padding will come in handy if you ever get up close and personal with a zombie deer attempting to bite you. Deer and their zombie variants have relatively blunt teeth due to their status as herbivores, and it will take quite some effort on their part to bite through thick clothing. So dig out all those extra jackets and put them on. Consider it a little bit of extra insurance, even if they make you look rather unflattering. Or maybe that’s from the stress of avoiding bloodthirsty deer, which in hindsight would leave you little time for proper hygiene. Hmm.
But proper hygiene is important. After a week without showering may make you stink like a cow’s rear, but to deer, it just makes you smell human. And that means tasty. Remember, just because deer have been zombiefied and in all likelihood completely overwhelmed the country, it doesn’t mean they can magically track you better. Hunters can get away with all kinds of stealthy things using a proper combination of camo and scent blocker, and then will even be more useful in the deer apocalypse. Properly prepared, you can avoid roving deer groups entirely.
Other than the presence of flesh-eating deer, what you have on your hands is essentially a wilderness survival situation. Many hunters already have knowledge of basic survival skills such as fire-making, shelter building, and even how to forage for edible fruit. In the case of a zombie outbreak, however, you may have to stay in the woods for an extended period of time. So it is a good idea to brush up on the skills that will allow you to enjoy a longer stay, such as proper water procurement and filtration, how to make soap from ash and fat, and trapping and processing non-zombified game.
When it’s not the deer zombie apocalypse, bears are immensely powerful animals weighing several times your body weight and occasionally eating your trash. In the event of deer zombies, bears are immensely powerful animals several times your body weight and awesome. We’re not recommending that you try and seek out a bruin for training as a personal bodyguard. No, that would be stupid. We’re recommending that you form a bear posse. Man and bear, fighting side-by-side at the end of the world. Since it’s likely that bears will be immune to whatever virus is causing the zombie outbreak in deer, they can even enjoy a snack afterwards. As a bonus, you and your hunting party can even take shelter in the animal’s winter den. Just don’t remind it when bear season is.