Example: [Collected via e-mail, March 2008]
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
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
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 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 only upside is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals. A brief
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 slowly 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
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 wrist. 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 — 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 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 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
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.
Origins: While the view of deer held by urban dwellers posits these creatures as big-eyed cute critters that are all grace and gentleness, those who actually deal with them know these animals to be incredibly strong and at times vicious, a reality far removed from the "Bambi" image cherished by so many. Deer, especially when enraged or terrified, can be quite dangerous to deal with: they're fast, strong, agile, and armed with sharp hooves (and sometimes antlers). Usually only the foolhardy or
While we can't yet confirm or dismiss the "roped deer" story (its author remains unknown to us), there isn't much reason to doubt the tale, in that deer can and do act as described when detained. Even the bit about the deer's not immediately leaving the scene once freed but instead continuing to pummel its former captor fits what is known about deer, some of whom have been known to repeatedly ram cars that have hit them.
Our earliest sighting of this tale dates to February 2007, when it circulated as a much longer version that placed the incident in Kansas. Around February 2008, someone thought to shorten the original by clipping off all the wording that followed "I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away," then adding in its place the piece's current completing line of "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."
The author of the roped deer tale still remains unknown, for reasons he explains very well in the excised paragraphs:
I have never seen any law in the state of Kansas that would prohibit an individual from roping a deer. I suspect that this is an area that they have overlooked entirely. Knowing, as I do, the lengths to which law enforcement personnel will go to exercise their power, I was concerned that they may find a way to twist the existing laws to paint my actions as criminal. I swear... not wanting to admit that I had done something monumentally stupid played no part in my response. I told him "I was attacked by a deer". I did not mention that at the time I had a rope on it. The evidence was all over my body. Deer prints on the back of my jacket where it had stomped all over me and a large deer print on my face where it had struck me there. I asked him to call somebody to come get me. I didn't think I could make it home on my own. He did. Later that afternoon, a game warden showed up at my house and wanted to know about the deer attack. Surprisingly, deer attacks are a rare thing and wildlife and parks was interested in the event. I tried to describe the attack as completely and accurately as I could. I was filling the grain hopper and this deer came out of nowhere and just started kicking the hell out of me and BIT me. It was obviously rabid or insane or something.
EVERYBODY for miles around knows about the deer attack (the guy at the
Last updated: 3 August 2011
Associated Press. "Domestic News." 18 January 2007.