Thursday, August 23, 2012

Beware the Cervidae

Mule Deer Attack

My small town, located precisely in the middle of nowhere, is quite the sanctuary for roving deer. (I also think the deer are aware that one cannot discharge a firearm within city limits, so they take sanctuary. Plus there are an abundance of gardens for them to graze on. Bright little Cervidea). On any given day while walking down the sidewalk, I may either be joined or gawked at by large groups of deer. By large, I mean up to 7-ish. Maybe.

While this is not a number to rival herds of wild horses or the often raved about groups of shaggy buffalo who used to rove across the Montana plains like swarms of locusts, you must remember that I am only one person. Seven deer. One person. Bad odds.

I bring this up because deer on the outside are serene. They munch on grass. They spring around on cute little cloven hooves. They stare at you with doe eyes. . .

Lest anyone be whiled by their charms, please do not forget When Wild Animals Attack. Those pointy little antlers and hooves, once dainty while seen springy across a field, take on a whole new meaning when stuck in your eye.

Don't get me wrong, I do not live in fear of our deer. I like seeing the doe with her babies walk down the sidewalk in front of my house every morning. I just like seeing them from the other side of a locked door.

It's my understanding that male deer, otherwise known as bucks, will attack without provocation, particularly during October-December, their months of rut. 

I do remember walking on a cold fall day around dusk a couple of years ago. There was a small buck in a field, at least a hundred feet away. Stopping to admire his beauty, my mind told me, ah, what a beautiful deer. Look at him standing proudly in that field.

Just then the deer stomped his foot. I got a nervous look in my eye. The deer snorted. I tensed. The deer took a step in my direction. . . . Thinking only of imminent puncture wounds, I fled the scene, and I now have a healthy respect for our deer.


  1. Tonight I was driving back from Waitsburg & there was a very young buck with some tiny, skinny antlers at the side of the road. I slowed way down & watched him & then kept checking him out in my rear view mirror. He literally looked both ways, waited for me & 2 other cars (one following me & one passing us) to go by & then cautiously crossed the road. It was insane! Smart little deer.

    1. ooo. tiny, skinny antlers. the better to attack you with . . . :)

  2. I think I bumped into your roving deer on my way to work tonight. And I mean that literally. I waited an extra 10 Seconds after half a dozen deer crossed Broadway in front of me. It was dark, and there was another car in the opposing lane doing as I, and its headlights were compromising my vision. I had sped up to about 10mph when deer Nr.7 decided that NOW would be a good time to jump out of nowhere and test my reflexes. It ALMOST made it across the road before I bumped into it, and continued on its way after giving me a jarred look. Okay, maybe I only waited 3 seconds.

  3. The deer was moving faster than I, so clearly it hit me!