Each November, the sound of the alarm often means it is time to hunt some deer in Texas — trudging through the woods in the dark, climbing into a deer stand and feeling that cold morning air.
Reid Atkins says it’s all part of the experience.
"Hunting is sitting in a stand, waiting for something to show, anticipating something to come out of the brush at any moment," says Atkins.
John Lockwood is a Texas hunter, too. But he wants to share the hunting experience with people who would pay him hundreds of dollars to use a mouse to kill a deer — at his Web site.
"The idea came from another Web site that has viewing of animals and a co-worker asked me, 'Boy, wouldn't it be great if you could put a gun to that?’" says Lockwood.
And so he has.
For now, it's nothing more than target practice — aiming the .22-caliber rifle on the mouse pad and squeezing off a round with a left click.
But, Lockwood says, eventually he plans to move the whole system to his 330-acre ranch where licensed armchair hunters anywhere in the world will be able to fire bullets at live animals from their home computer.
"While you may not feel the recoil of the rifle you can definitely see what's happened," he says.
The prospect of that just outrages Kirby Brown of the Texas Wildlife Association.
"99 percent of the hunters are going to oppose this," he says. "It's not an ethical means. It's not a way to do this."
Brown's group is proposing a new state law requiring anyone who gets a hunting license must be out — on site — before they can kill an animal.
Reid Atkins says he will just keep hunting the old-fashioned way.
"If it's legal, they can do whatever they want," says Atkins. "But this guy's not gonna do it."
Meanwhile, John Lockwood says he's tweaking his Web site to begin selling live animal hunts, over the Internet, next year.