Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Deer Dilemma

First off-if you are a regular reader of my blog, you have probably figured out that my lack of blogging in the past week must mean that hiking season is in full swing. Yep! I'm off doing serious research again--working on two new books. Two books? Yep-you know about the Backpacking Washington book-well-the other one I'll be making the official announcement soon-but let's just say that you'll have plenty of territory to gorge on when it come out. Which leads me to-I was out doing research in the Silver Star area outside of Vancouver WA this week when I was dealt a deer dilemma. I was returning from a hike to Little Baldy on a terribly steep and rutted road when all of sudden right in front of me a doe and very young fawn appeared. The doe took off down the road. The fawn dropped and feigned dead. Trouble was the little guy did this right in the road. He was not hidden nor did I have a way around him. I stopped and backed the car hoping that he would rejoin his mom. Nope! Just lied there in the road playing dead. I waited- No movement. Great-how am I going to get out of here I thought. I looked at the road-no way I could scoot around him without driving off the road. That would not be good. I had to move the little fellow I thought. But I was so afraid that I would stress him out (he certainly was stressing me out) and that his mom would abandon him. I did not want to leave my scent on him. I wrapped my hands in two well worn wool socks (that I wore as outer socks) that were full of mud, seeds and other natural scents. I then gently lifted the little guy and placed him a couple of feet to the side of the road. He continued to play dead. I was able to drive by safely. I hope his mom returned shortly. It was quite an experience and I hope that I didn't endanger the fawn. What a dilemma. What would you have done my deer friends?


Rob said...

That is a great story Craig, and a great picture. Let's hope the mom liked your socks.

My father-in-law was mowing a field in NC on his tractor a few years ago and noticed he had mowed right-over a fawn hiding the in previously tall grass. Naturally he thought it actually WAS dead and brought it back to the house for some reason where he discovered it was still alive! He put it back where he found it, and after the round-trip tractor ride on his lap, mom still came and gathered him up.

Rob said...

Ah, he thought it was dying, not dead.