texanist deer
If I hit a deer with my car, is it legal to harvest and eat it?Illustration by Jack Unruh

Q: I live near Wimberley, and recently, as I was driving home from 
a PTA meeting, I hit 
and killed a deer. My question is, if I had acted fast, could I have legally eaten that deer? And if I could have, should I have? And if I should have, how would you recommend preparing road-killed deer?
Bill Early, Wimberley

A: You don’t need to log many miles on Texas roads to conclude that the white-tailed deer is a superabundant and reckless, even suicidal creature. The Texanist can barely drive to the grocery store without spotting one prancing along the shoulder, threatening at any minute to commence a mismatched game of chicken with his ’95 Chevy. Our byways are littered with the bloated carcasses of the cloven-hoofed losers of these contests. But while it is commonly assumed that to all victors belong all spoils, this is a rare instance in which they do not. It may seem wasteful but it would have been illegal, according to Texas state law, for you to have field-dressed the kill, thrown it into the back of your truck, and headed home to light the grill. The Texanist himself is a lover of venison. But imagine for a moment what might happen if the practice of roadkill collection and consumption was legal and accepted behavior: plenty of ol’ boys would seize the chance to turn their F-150s into weapons. The thought of them out cruising the highways for dinner, swerving this way and that, plowing through fences and over bar ditches in frenzied pursuit of their prey is terrifying to contemplate. How long before some kid’s dog gets run down? And then what? Could they eat the dog? The Texanist can tell you that within a month’s time our thoroughfares would be baited with corn and completely unsafe for the average motorist. Roadkill, tasty though it may appear, is best left on the road.

Q: It was due to the love of a good woman that I moved from my San Antonio home to Denver several years ago. In just my first few days of Colorado residence I was told matter-of-factly by a local, “Coloradans hate Texans.” My bewilderment became complete when she then asked me, “Who do Texans hate?” For the love of me I couldn’t think of a decent answer. Mr. Texanist, what should I have said?
Jeff Haessler, Denver, Colorado

A: Texas is, of course, the “friendship” state, and moreover, such a wide array of origins can be found among our melting pot of citizens that to base disaffection on anyone’s place of birth is simply not our way. That said, there’s always Oklahoma.

Q: During a trip to the Capitol building last week, one of my friends wore his cowboy boots to a legislative hearing. They were very stylish, with intricate threading, but they had zippers up the side. I told him they were not true cowboy boots. What is your ruling on the matter?
April Young, Austin

A: Actually, there are some reputable boot makers who utilize a zipper—right before and right after they utilize the facilities. Seriously, the Texanist can under no circumstances condone the use of cowboy boots with zippers up the side. Such footwear is an abomination that he cannot stand behind—or in. Zipper boots, no matter the amount of threading, are not cowboy boots, and nothing will change this fact; they are Western-style zipper boots, or cowboy-themed go-go boots, more suited to the runways of Milan than the committee rooms of the Texas state capitol. You are correct, there is not a cowboy in Texas who would be caught dead, alive, or halfway drunk in a pair of zipper boots.

Q: I’m a proud but confused Texan. My third-great-grandfather settled in the Republic of Texas in 1837. My second-great-grandfather was a little boy when they settled in Texas, so my great-grandfather was the first one born in Texas. Does this make me a sixth- or fourth-generation Texan?
Larry Syverson, Richmond, Virginia

A: According to the information provided, the Texanist has, with the help of an experimental and proprietary formula he is currently developing on a cocktail napkin, determined that you are, patrilineally speaking, a 4.277th-generation Texan.

Q: I am about to propose to my girlfriend, and I can’t decide if I want to take her somewhere exotic for the weekend or find a romantic place here in Texas. It’ll be a story she tells for the rest of her life. So should I take her somewhere like Hawaii or just find a good place closer to home?
Name Withheld

A: It was twelve years ago this month that a lovestruck young Texanist and his soon-to-be-future Mrs. Texanist embarked on a seafaring journey that neither of them would ever (for different reasons) forget. The November sun was shining bright that day, and a pair of dolphins made merry in the wake of the Arnold W. Oliver, a ferry that to this day plows its daily course, for free, between Aransas Pass and Port Aransas. Gulls glided overhead in the clear blue sky as the Texanist hit a knee on the crowded deck and proposed marriage. Owing perhaps to the element of surprise, the proposition was accepted, and a round of applause went up from the adjacent passengers, followed by a loud horn blast from the captain. The Texanist remembers the occasion for its extreme nerve-rackingness, while Mrs. Texanist recalls it as the most embarrassing moment of her life up to that point (it has since been surpassed, on multiple occasions). The marriage itself, however, has been as successful as if it had commenced on the promenade deck of the Queen Mary 2. So before shelling out a wheelbarrow of cash for two round-trip tickets to some exotic land, you should know that the moment will be memorable for what goes down more than where it went down. Congratulations and fair sailing.