They’ve removed Elmer Fudd’s gun. That’s the takeaway for many about the premiere of the new Looney Tunes shorts on HBO Max, and some people are royally pissed about it, including game-show-host-turned-right-wing-pundit Chuck Woolery.
But, Chuck, objectively speaking, isn’t Elmer Fudd just about the worst mascot for the Second Amendment ever? He’s an absolute moron, he never practices gun safety, he’s regularly tricked by his own prey, and despite being on their trail for over 80 years, he’s never bagged Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck.
Seriously Chuck, Elmer Fudd is not helping your case — probably best to just let this one go.
While we’re on the subject though, I wanted to ask some hunters what exactly Elmer Fudd has been doing wrong all these years, and why he constantly finds himself the butt of the joke. Same goes for the other two hunters in the Looney Tunes Hall of Fame, namely Wile E. Coyote, who is constantly foiled by that tasty-looking roadrunner, and the Chicken Hawk, who can never seem to distinguish between a dog and a chicken.
So, away we go, here’s what all those Looney Tunes hunters have been doing wrong.
On Whether Elmer Fudd Should Even Have Been Using a Shotgun
John Campbell aka “The Arizona Bushman,” survival expert, author and knifemaker: In the old days, I guess a shotgun would be fine for a rabbit, but I always use a 22 [rifle] — that way you don’t get all those pellets in your meat. For duck hunting though, they still use shotguns because the ducks take to the sky and they blast them out. Then the retrievers run and get them.
Patrick, lifelong hunter in New York: Yeah, a shotgun is good for both ducks and rabbits, you can also use a bow and arrow for a rabbit. Shotguns are right for them because they spray a pattern of BBs — they’re usually pretty quick.
Chad Brooks, lifelong hunter in Virginia: You want something that gives you a better chance of hitting the rabbit, because there’s brush and thicket and everything, so a shotgun is good for that. For ducks, too, you use a shotgun, but you have to use steel shot for them, not lead shot, because they don’t want lead getting into the water.
On Fudd’s Inability to Kill His Prey
Patrick: If I remember correctly, he always seems to blow the fur or the feathers off of Daffy and Bugs and that’s it — it’s all just powder burn. That probably means that he doesn’t have a projectile in there. So he might want to try to put a projectile in. He may have more luck.
Campbell: I don’t think he’s got the sense that God gave a gnat.
Brooks: It’s a cartoon. That’s it. If you shoot anything at point-blank range, it doesn’t matter what you’re using, you’re going to kill it.
On Knowing What’s in Season
Patrick: For New York state, you’d check the [Department of Environmental Conservation] to determine what’s in season — we get a pamphlet every year with our hunting licenses, but you can also check online. That varies state-by-state, and for whatever state you’re in, you’d have to check the fish and game agency for that state. If you hunt something that’s out of season, you can face fines, go to jail, lose your hunting license or lose your firearms.
Brooks: Before you start hunting, you have to take a hunter’s safety course, so that teaches you a lot. For me, I’ve been going out with my dad since I was five, six years old, so I learned from him. They also give out a book every year so you know that stuff. You can Google all that stuff too.
Campbell: There’s definitely a guide to know what’s in season, just look up your state’s fish and game agency. Also, sporting good stores will have that stuff posted.
On Knowing What You’re Hunting
Patrick: You really have to pay attention to know what you’re hunting. You look at pictures, you study their habitat, you understand their eating habits, sleeping habits, all that. I couldn’t legally hunt until I was 12, but my dad took me out starting when I was six, so I’ve been doing this my whole life and my dad would teach me what’s what. He’d tell me what’s a duck verus what’s a goose, and from there, you just learn it.
Campbell: Education — that’s how you know what you’re hunting. Usually you’re taught by someone in your family, but Fish and Game would also help with that.
Brooks: Well, this is why I don’t do a lot of bird hunting, because sometimes it’s tough to tell what you’re shooting at. There’s a lot of different species of duck and a duck hunter knows what they’re doing, but I’ve mostly hunted deer and I only went duck hunting once. I got in trouble though, so that was the only time I went. What happened was, I was hunting with some friends and every time a bird flew by I’d unload my daggone gun, because they’re hard as crap to hit. Eventually, geese came by and I shot a goose and I was proud as hell. After that, every time a bird come by, I’d still unload my gun, but I didn’t hit nothing after that.
Later on, when we got back to the dock, the game warden swarmed us and asked, “Who shot this goose?” I said, “That would be me!” because I was all proud and shit. Anyway, I got in trouble because I kept shooting at geese after I got that one, because there was a limit of just one goose. The warden actually told me, “It’s a good thing you’re a poor shot,” because if I got another goose, I would have been in a lot more trouble. Anyway, that’s the only time I went duck hunting. There’s too many daggone rules.
On Hunting Something Much, Much Bigger Than You
Campbell: Make sure you can get away, and use a weapon that’s strong enough.
Patrick: Don’t miss.
On Wile E. Coyote’s Failed Traps
Campbell: He probably should have taken a simpler route with his traps, because a lot of his stuff was almost like a Rube Goldberg device. A simple box trap would be much better.
On the Dangers of Hunting with Explosives
Patrick: We’ve all had fun with an M80 in a pond and scooping up the fish afterwards, but no, you don’t generally throw a stick of dynamite at anybody or anything. You mistime that, you’re going to lose a hand.
Campbell: Well, that’s highly illegal. Plus, you’d just blow the animal apart, there wouldn’t be anything left of it.
On Leaving Bait for Your Prey
Patrick: Bait isn’t allowed in New York. You can do simple lures like doe urine, but no baiting, that’s illegal.
Brooks: No, it’s pretty much illegal to hunt over bait.
Campbell: The best thing to do is to know the animal’s natural diet and use that for bait. Roadrunners eat snakes and things like that, so catching one with birdseed? I don’t see that happening. It’s illegal to hunt roadrunners anyway; they’re protected.
On the ACME Corporation
Patrick: I don’t know, I think ACME does good as a grocery store, but I don’t think I’d order any explosives or firearms off of them.
Brooks: A hunter spends a lot of money on hunting stuff, like calls and all that, and most of it works pretty good if you know what you’re doing. I think it’s more the coyote’s fault, because you can get a turkey call and call all you want, but if you don’t do it the right way, they ain’t coming.
Campbell: I’d be pretty pissed off myself. I don’t know if any of those items worked. I probably would have done a little more research, and if I did buy something from them, I probably would have left some bad reviews online.