I didn’t grow up in a hunting town, so some of that culture’s etiquette is lost on me. For a long time, I didn’t understand why people wore fluorescent orange Carhartt beanies before they were fashion, and despite having lived in Pennsylvania, I didn’t know until recently that some schools in the state consider the first day of hunting season a holiday. Still, I can tell you with some certainty that even in hunting areas, you’re probably going to get some looks if you walk up to the McDonald’s drive-thru with a full, bloody dead deer on your shoulders.
That’s exactly what happened in New Zealand this weekend, according to a video uploaded to Facebook by Blake Horton of Taumarunui. In the video, a car pulls up to the McDonald’s drive-thru (the video is taken from inside the car). At first, things look pretty normal—until Horton zooms in to show a man standing at the menu screen, wearing shorts and boots; casually holding a lifeless, decently sized deer; and ordering a McChicken sandwich.
According to the New Zealand news site Stuff, the late-night find wasn’t actually that weird as far as locals are concerned. “Wearing gumboots, stubbies, and with a dead deer slung over his back, a hunter ordering McDonald's couldn't have looked more Kiwi,” it wrote.
Alas, before you think this is just a quirky New Zealand thing, Stuff reported that the man holding the deer in the video, Tehanairo Tetawhero, is actually a friend of Horton’s, and that after going hunting, they decided to “finish the night with a bang” by bringing the deer to the drive-thru. “It was heavy, big deer. I was trying not to look back at the truck or I would have just lost it laughing,” Tetawhero told Stuff. The McDonald’s staff were surprised, he said, but must not have been that mad about it, since they only charged him for one of his three burgers. (Still, McDonald’s declined to comment on the situation to Stuff.)
Even if this weren’t staged, it’s true that New Zealand, like much of the United States, doesn’t allow animals other than service animals in food service joints. That being said, maybe he could have tested the limits of the country’s food codes: after all, the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code only states that “a food business must not permit live animals.”