The film “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” may have given you the impression that Hunter S. Thompson mumbled a lot and acted strangely. Footage from his home near Aspen says you’re probably right.
The video above, resurfaced last week by Reddit, shows the late Thompson “at Owl Farm, his property in Woody Creek, Colorado, apparently engaged in a shootout with his neighbor over a livestock dispute.”
“In a democracy, you have to be a player,” Thompson says as the camera switches between shots of a peacock and the pistol-wielding short-shorted author. (The footage has been on YouTube for a number of years; it’s not clear who filmed it or how it got there.)
Thompson reports that the other party was firing birdshot, a type of ammunition unlikely to do much damage from that distance. Thompson’s Luger pistol, on the other hand, would be dangerous if it ever actually hit, assuming the bullets weren’t blanks.
It’s also entirely possible that he planned all this out as a prank. After all, he reportedly played some kind of bizarre golf game with guns, with the sheriff, according to this feature in Newsweek.
Today, the property is being converted to a museum.