Oh deer

Today as I was driving to the gym with Ryan I saw something that I almost didn’t understand on the side of the road. It was one of those moments where you see something and your brain is trying to make sense of it but somewhere you know instantly what it is. I stopped short and threw on my flashers and jumped out of the car yelling my son, “DON’T GET OUT. There’s a baby deer on the road”

A deer in the yard (not the one in the story)

A deer in the yard (not the one in this story)

It was fine. Still and as small as it could get itself. I didn’t want to touch it – to get my human scent on it so I nudged it with my foot but it stayed put. Finally, after assessing “will it bite? Naw” I gently put my hands under its belly and lifted. It was SO light! And as I watched the impossibly long legs unfurl I noticed how warm it was, how soft and clean, and how light it was and how skinny. It wobbled to its feet and started toward the brush when I heard the mama snort and stamp and run a few feet away. I shooed it into the brush until it was at least a few feet from the road and got back into the car. It was likely trying to cross our crazy busy road to get to the prairie on the other side with mama and fell down the slight embankment onto the road. It must have been less than a day old, maybe two days but definitely young!

I was telling a friend this story and she told me that last night around 9 pm her dogs were running off leash and started acting strange – circling and barking but not coming when called. When she went over there she found two baby deer who were still wet from their birth! She heard the mama close by and quickly got her dogs and left.

So, for all of you with dogs who run off leash WATCH OUT! This is obviously baby deer season. In a few weeks they’ll be keeping up fine with the big ones but for the next week or so, can we all keep our dogs from running off leash in the woods? The deer thank you.

June 16, 2009 • Tags:  • Posted in: observations, other animals

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