Hi folks! Several years ago, I shared a story about a guy who thought he could catch a deer and put him in a pen and fatten him up for butchering. I am not sure if this is the same one, but it is a classic and deserves some sort of award for creativity. After receiving some phone calls, I dusted it off, so here it is.
I had this idea that I could 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 all 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 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 for some good venison meals.
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 — 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 you 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 into action as soon as you start pulling on that rope.
The 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? Not a 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 10-minute ride later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get back up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the later 9 stapled 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 feelings were 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 amount of responsibility for the situation we were both 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 - a little trap I had set beforehand...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. BTW, did you know that deer bite? They really do and I have the scars to prove so! 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 like a little girl and shaking instead. My method was ineffective. It seems like the deer was biting and shaking me around for hours, but it was likely only several seconds.
Being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now), I tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the tendons 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 little girl again 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 again.
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 in pain 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 bring a big ass rifle with a scope, it is just to even the odds.
The Doctors said I can get out of intensive care next week and should be able to walk again and use my right arm after another 8 weeks of physical therapy....by the time I pay off these hospital and Doctor bills, I will need to sell my ranch so that I can afford a good lawyer as the Dept. of Fish and Game have already cited me for inhumane hunting and animal cruelty. My wife, who also recently filed for a divorce while I still have some assets, says that deer is eating at the trough every day with 4 or 5 more does that look like they really admire him …
An Educated Rancher
Birthdays to celebrate this week include Oct. 22 – Joshua Book (he’s 18), Esther Scheafer, Bob Brightbill and Kacie Hunter (she’s 18); Oct. 23 - Buzz Henley (60 years old — Golden Buckeye Card?), Eric McCaskey and Larry Rieser; Oct. 24 – Francis Bird, Gary McClure, Sharon Ray and Mindy Miller’ Oct. 25 – Pat Mowery, Dean Ott, Scot Dessenberg and Katrina Truax; Oct. 26 – Aimee Gray, Tom Truax, and Brenda Spier; Oct. 27 – Cody Dean Miller (he’s 17) and Shane McCaskey. Many happy returns of the day!
Homemade pumpkin rolls will be offered by the ladies of the Perrysville United Methodist Church by pre-orders only. The price will be $12 for a full roll. Place your order by calling 419-938-7682 or 419-631-0696. Let us know how many and your phone number so that we can acknowledge your call. Deadline will be Monday, Nov. 11 at 5 p.m. Orders must be picked up on Saturday, Nov. 23 – noon until 3 p.m. at the church at 139 E. First St.
Wedding anniversaries being observed include Oct. 22 – Stephen and Debbie Smith and Oct. 24 – Oris and Ruth Nickles,
Finally – Don’t forget to send your charitable donation to the Mohican Area Community Fund. These benefits so many different programs in Mohican Country, so please have a "Mohican Heart."