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"When are you bringing them in?" Miller asks from his seat.
"We're not going to get into this now," Montague says.
"We pay taxes. Why don't we have the right to know?" Miller fires back.
"Sir, be quiet or leave," Montague answers.
His commentary continues, and a police officer moves toward Miller's seat. "OK, I'll leave!" he shouts. "Shame on all of you!"
A few hours later, at 12:02 a.m., Miller sends a vitriolic e-mail to a dozen Johnson County officials. He derides them for yielding to the interests of hunters, "sociopaths who take orgasmic delight in the killing of unarmed opponents." He says he was relieved to leave the meeting. "The putrid stench of corruption, hypocrisy, and close-minded ignorance had me on the verge of passing out anyway," he writes. He closes the midnight letter with a warning.
"My associates and I are now going to give you as much hell as we possibly can."
On September 25, Miller parks in the grass across from the administration office and surveys the waiting police officers and the smattering of press officials. At 1 p.m., he strides into the parking lot, carrying the wicker basket. As reporters open their notebooks, he unveils Victoria and hoists the deer's dripping head for the lone TV camera present.
"Had not one of our defenders, Jason Miller, acquired me from a meat processor, they would have thrown my head in the garbage," he says, speaking in character as Victoria. "Now I serve as a macabre reminder of the cruel, ruthless, malevolent act you intend to commit."
When he finishes his two-minute speech, Miller walks to the reception desk, his hands shaking slightly, and leaves the deer head for park officials.
"Is it real?" the receptionist asks with a grimace, leaning back in her seat. "Is it wrapped?"
Miller has already disappeared.
Knight, the intended recipient, doesn't retrieve the basket. In the interest of public — and personal — safety, he chooses his words about the hunt carefully. It's a law-enforcement activity, he says, so all he can reveal is that the harvest will happen in October, and park hours won't be affected.
He's well-acquainted with Miller, having exchanged numerous phone calls and e-mails. "This is not new," he says of the opposition to the deer harvest, "but it has become a perfect platform to argue a case very prominently and publicly, and some people have taken advantage of that, and it's certainly their right. But there's nothing we haven't already heard, nothing we haven't already considered. And we are well-aware of just how passionate people can get and, in some instances, in other places, confrontational.
On October 4, Miller engineers a confrontation — a protest that, he believes, will lead to his arrest.
As dusk nears, a handful of reporters and one police cruiser wait for Bite Club at the entrance to Shawnee Mission Park. "You don't know jack shit about ecology!" a man shouts from an exiting car when the animal-rights activists hoist their signs. "Go home!"
"May the animal gods bless you!" Miller yells back.
Sensing that they may not have much time, Miller and two other activists quickly unfurl a 10-foot banner that declares: "Death Park: Closed for Cruelty." They step onto the street to block traffic. "We're not going to let anyone through," Miller says into a megaphone, his voice trembling. "This park is officially closed for cruelty."