Dick Cheney took a trip to Wyoming / the 1950s over the weekend, participating in the One-Shot Antelope Hunt, an annual event that hearkens back to a time when men were men and Native Americans and women played key supporting roles. Don't worry: Cheney's gun misfired — which everyone had a good laugh about before apparently dressing up like Native Americans and dancing.
The Huffington Post noted the story from K2TV ("Wyoming's news leader"), focusing on Cheney's ammo problems. The contest is basically what it says: teams of three competitors get one shot to try and kill an antelope. If they do so, they get a point. If they miss, they don't.
But this is not the weirdest part of the whole thing! Nor is the fact that Cheney helped a good cause by offering a signed "first addition" (K2TV, come on) of his book In My Time for the auction — a donation which earned the non-profit Water For Wildlife $26,000 to address the effects of drought on wild animals. Cheney, you may remember, was vice president for eight years in an administration that actively blocked national and international efforts to curtail the climate change that contributed to the massive drought that choked the West last year. Also, we talked to a scientist who pointed out that one good way to help save the lives of antelopes is to not try to shoot them to death. Maybe Cheney was just doing his part to save the antelope by using dud ammo, who knows.
Here is the weirdest part of the event. Allow us to quote from the web site for the One Shot Past Shooters Club, a separate fraternal organization for those who have participated in the event.
After the hunt, at the Saturday evening Victory Banquet, team members tell packed audiences at the Lander Community Center why they did or did not collect their bucks with one shot each. … The evening ends with members of the winning team dancing with the Shoshone braves while the others are relegated to dance with the Indian maidens in a traditional Round Dance.
"Relegated." The official website for the hunt has an image from a past hunt, below, showing the losing team — including Wyoming's governor and a sitting senator — dressed up as "Indian maidens" at some point in the late 1980s. Whether or not this is still the custom, with the former vice president dressing up like a Native American woman (giggling the whole time, no doubt), is unclear. But as you can see above, a few lucky gentlemen got to try on headdresses.
In case you had forgotten, Cheney's daughter Liz is running for Senate in the state. K2TV's intrepid reporter tried to get an interview with the former VP, but came away with only "he is very proud of his daughter." And the feeling is no doubt mutual.
Photo: Cheney, this weekend; two governors stand with a Native American man at the event, 2009. (Still from YouTube, photo from One Shot Antelope Hunt website.)