Tuesday, March 04, 2014

She returns.

A herd of deer came by at dusk. There were ten of them in the group, all munching on the corn that I put out earlier. I scanned the group carefully, checking out each deer in detail as I looked for the doe with the broken leg from the earlier post. At first I only counted nine, and they all walked fine. But then I saw her, back on the edge of the pack. There was no mistaking her as with every step, the broken leg twisted out from under her, making her stumble. Cautiously, she came into the open, stopping right where I'd seen her two nights ago. But she was hesitant to come in. Much as she seemed to want the corn, something was holding her back. I stood at my back patio door, rifle at ready. I just had to slide it open ever so slowly.

She bent down to take some corn--corn that I'd thrown to that spot just for her. But as she did, another larger doe charged her and drove her back away from the food. Dammit! For a second, I thought about dropping that deer just as a payback for her meanness. But that's nature. And I had another job to do.

The broke-leg doe inched back towards the corn. She was again about ten yards out. I resumed sliding the door open slowly. A few of the deer eyeballed me but none of them jumped off; they're used to me for the most part. But stalking one deer alone is easier than one in a herd. Whereas most of these deer are fairly be resistant to startling, the whole herd tends to scatter if any deer startles. And just as I was bringing the rifle up again, one of them startled and the whole herd flushed. The deer scattered off in ten different directions, Broke-leg among them. I missed her again.

I spent the next half hour sitting on a chair in my darkened kitchen with the door open, waiting with my rifle ready. Half of my house is now twenty-five degrees, the same temperature as the back yard. Most of the deer eventually came back for the corn. She wasn't one of them.

Dammit.

That's strike two.

9 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear that. I know you want to put her out of her pain.

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  2. Hope you take her soon. Hate to think of her wandering around on that leg. That's gotta suck.

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    1. Yeah, it hurts just watching her.

      On the plus side, A State Trooper just showed up a few minutes ago because I called in on this deer again. (More eyes looking = hopefully someone gets it.) We talked for a while and before he left, he gave me an unconditional blessing to take the shot next time I see it and told me how to arrange to have it picked up afterwards. Nice fella.

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  3. Okay, I know this is the optimist in me thinking here, but maybe her cleverness will allow her to live a full life with the pack. Eventually that bone will heal although it might not heal evenly. And then if she is cunning enough to know to stay away from your rifle then she just might be able to carry on her life with her wonky leg issue by being smart. Just something I like to believe. *sigh*

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    1. Keep wishing that. But it's more likely that that leg will snap off before it heals. It's ugly.

      Everything in nature dies. In her case, it's time and letting this drag out isn't doing her any favors.

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  4. Hopefully you can end her misery soon.

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  5. A friend shot a deer once that had lost a leg and had it heal. The skin had grown over the bone and the shoulder muscles had atrophied to nothing. It was getting around OK on three legs. But I think the vast majority of broken legs end like the one I got some years later. The leg was gangrenous and the deer had to have been miserable dying that slow death. I think you have made the correct choice.

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  6. Sigh. I hope you get her soon. Animals suffer the same pain we do, they just respond to it differently. She's got to be in agony.

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  7. This is agonizing! I know the poor doe is in misery. I can not fathom the herd protecting her. Could there be more going on here? Do you suppose she has a fawn somewhere?

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