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How NOT to hunt venison

Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Found this story on the internet several years ago.

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 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.

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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 rifle with a scope to sort of even the odds.

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I've always chuckled over this tale! Love it! Also love it because it is similar to a story I know of someone in my county that hit a buck on the road, merely stunning it. Loaded him in the truck and took it home, planning to shoot him later and claim he killed it with his bow. He tied it to the porch post in case it awakened while he went in to have some supper. The deer awakened. It then proceeded to run off with the porch post still tied to his neck, causing part of the porch to sag and be torn up a bit. They saw that deer later with a length of rope around its neck but no one ever got a shot at him. The post from the porch was not still attached to the rope...
master pollinator
Posts: 8708
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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YouTube contains many fine examples of what not to try with deer and other creatures both wild and domestic.
Posts: 3
Location: Indiana Zone 6
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Had me chuckling
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Greetings. If I may...first post here. I don't normally, but....

It took my wife and myself almost fifteen minutes to read that story. Quickly perusing the forums I was about to leave, did leave the page, as it caught my eye. I thought it may be decently fun and returned. The second sentence had us howling.

The story brought to mind one that I was told by my mother. True story as I knew one of the gentlemen involved. Four well dressed businessmen were driving through East Texas/Big Thicket near Saratoga, Tx in the late fifties when they hit a deer. Getting out of the brand new car to check for damage they found the doe deceased. Nearby one of them spotted a fawn. Feeling bad for it they managed to catch it and put it in the backseat with two of the men and continued their journey. At some point the fawn came, let's say, alive after perhaps being somewhat in shock. Before they could stop the car and get out, much less get the fawn out, their suits were in shreds as was the whole interior of the car and they were bleeding mightily as you might imagine.

Thank you, I have not thought of that in many years.
Posts: 766
Location: south central VA 7B
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Thank you John - needed a howl with my coffee!
John Polk
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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Good story telling is becoming a lost art.
I am glad that somebody is keeping the tradition alive.

Anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly first. Just look at this tiny ad:
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