The hunter's challenge, according to "Five Things Hunters Should Know" from the Base Camp Legends blog, is to explain away those times "when we’re not seeing (any) game."
The idea is to create scenarios that display your hunting bravado. After all it's not your fault the deer would rather trek in prime cougar country that to face a crowd of hunters.
This is number three in a list of five possibilities. It's involvement of the camp cook makes it worth repeating at 'Round the Chuckbox. Here goes:
Unwrap any food items and smash it all into a small baggy. Then at the end of the day, make sure you’re the last person back ... as late as you possibly can. When ... others begin wondering about you, take some brush and scratch yourself up with it a bit, and put on a real exhausted look.
Then stagger in to camp and tell everyone that you were down in the bottom of the canyon when you realized someone had taken your food from your pack and look accusingly at each person. They’ll all know they weren't the ones, but they’ll think someone did it.
"That sounds like something Jimmy would do," they'll think.
Then tell them how at the bottom of the canyon and realizing you had very little food, you had to struggle through cliffs, brush, and the pure ruggedness of that canyon using every last ounce of energy just to make it back to camp - you were busy trying to survive and didn't have time to to even think about hunting.
It might be a good idea to eat your food several hours before wandering into camp because the camp cook will realize you must be starving and will proceed to try and pump you full of food. If you just ate, you might get away with telling them that your stomach is so empty it hurts to eat.