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Author Topic: Catching a deer  (Read 5323 times)
Cave Dweller
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« on: November 30, 2008, 04:36:28 AM »

I had the 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 four feet away,) 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 twenty minutes, my deer showed up, three of them. I picked out 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 I could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it ... it 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 still keep my dignity. A deer ~ I had no chance!

That thing ran, bucked, twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it, and, certainly, no getting close to it. As it jerked 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 third thing I learned, the only upside to this situation, is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals. A brief ten 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 the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head mostly blinded me.

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 that 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 that deer and me. 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. I didn't want the deer to have to suffer a slow death, so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder, in a little trap I had set beforehand, kind of like a squeeze chute. I got it to back up in there, and started moving up so I could get my rope back.

The fourth thing I learned ... did you know that deer bite? They do!

Never in a million years would I 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 wrist.

Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse, when they just bite you, and then let go. A deer bites you, and shakes its head, almost like a pit bull. They bite 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 ineffective. It seemed 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 fifth lesson in deer behavior for the day!

Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet, strike right about the 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 cannot get away easily, the best thing to do is 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 escape.

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 strategy. 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 three times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.

Lesson six ... 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 head. I finally managed to crawl under the truck, and the deer went away.

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