Sunday, March 2, 2008

When deer fight back

So my hunter dad forwarded me this story, supposedly to contest the argument that deer are defenseless animals. This story is a real coup for the deer, and the moron would-be roper deserves a Darwin Award honorable mention.

Roping A Deer...Names have been removed to protect the stupid!
Actual Letter from someone who writes, and farms.

I had this idea that I was going to rope a deer, put it in a stall,
feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it.

The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that,
since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear
of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at
the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet a way), it
should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its
head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope.

The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back.

They were not having any of it.

After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up -- 3 of them. I picked ou t
a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my
rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me.

I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would
have a good hold. The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could
tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation.

I took a step towards took a step away. I put a little
tension on the rope and then received an education.

The first thing that I learned is that, while a deer may just stand
there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when
you start pulling on that rope.

That deer EXPLODED.

The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT
stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could
fight down with a rope and with some dignity.

A deer-- no chance.

That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no
controlling it and certa inly no getting close to it. As it je rked me off my
feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having
a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had originally imagined.

The only upside is that they do not have as much stamina as many
other animals.

A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to
jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few
minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out
of the big gash in my head. At that point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed
venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope.

I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck,
it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere.

At the time, there was no love at all between me and that deer. At
that moment, I hated the thing, and I would venture a guess that the feeling
was mutual.

Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had
cleverly arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head against various
large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly
enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny
amount of responsibility for the situation we were in, so I didn't want the
deer to have it suffer a slow death, so I managed to get it lined back up in
between my truck and the feeder - a little trap I had set before hand...kind
of like a squeeze chute.

I got it to back in there and I started moving up so I could get my
rope back.

Did you know that deer bite? They do! I never in a million years
would have thought that a deer would bite somebody, so I was very surprised
when I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my

Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where
they just bite you and then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head --al
most like a pit bull. They bit e HARD and it hurts.

The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze
and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was

It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes,
but it was likely only several seconds.

I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that
claim by now) tricked it.

While I kept it busy tearing the bejesus out of my right arm, I
reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose. That was when I got
my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.

Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on
their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their
hooves are surprisingly sharp.

I learned a long time ago that, when an animal -- like a horse
--strikes at you with their hooves and you can't get away easily, the best
thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards
the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can

This was not a horse. This was a deer, so obviously, such trickery
would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different

I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run.

The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a
horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in
the back of the head.

Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being
twice as strong and 3 times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it
hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.

Now, when a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not
immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has
passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you
while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your h ead.

I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away.

So now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with
a scope so that they can be somewhat equal to the Prey.

Never underestimate Bambi.

On a different note, it is now Day 4 of grainlessness. Already two pounds lighter (oh no, Atkins was right) and all of my thoughts are fixed on a single point: BROWNIES. But seriously, fate was mocking me in my pathetic state yesterday. J and I went for lunch at Native Foods at The Camp (lovingly known as the anti-mall) in Costa Mesa, and it happened to be Womens Health Awareness Day, which somehow translates to a vegan food fair. We went in Herbivore Clothing so I could check out some vegan shoes, and what do you think is sitting there, STARING AT ME, beside the strappy peep-toes? An enormous platter of vegan blueberry dark chocolate brownies. I wanted to cry. Am I really going to live the rest of my life without baked goods that weren't made at home, by me, from 12 different kinds of expensive GF flours? The future looks dim. And skinny.

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