A RUTTING WE WILL GO                


At mid day, a five point buck wanders around our house leading us on merry chase from window to window. He has surveyed the land, found water, apple trees, grass to his liking and now has claimed our farm as his own. Iíve always thought of deer as soft and gentle or fleeing from fear.

My oldest son, unaware that the deer was in rut, went outside to finish up his work. The deer did not flee but approached him sending a Moose code signal that he was not familiar with. My son backed away from the deer slowly. The buck walked sideways, tilted his head to a superior manor, glared and then charged him. My son grabbed his antlers to slow the hit and found his 6'3" body airborne. The charge was swift, unyielding and direct. As soon as my son found the ground, he darted around the car and scurried to the porch. Heís bruises would last him for weeks.

Laughter, wonder, and new found respect filled the air. Now this noble buck stood tall and lean at the base of our porch steps, detaining my husband and my two son from doing their chores. There was a madness behind the glaring eyes of this buck. Ah, ragging hormones. Even now as I think of him, all I can visualize is the wildness of his stare. Now we have one male species challenging another male species.

My husband dared to go chop wood on the other side of the house. Within five minutes the deer had him scurrying to the flat roof of the wood shed. My oldest son went to the garage and the buck paced outside the door. I think I see luggage coming or maybe the buck harem. The male population of this domain were being held captive. I tried what my children call my evil eye on him but he held fast. Finally my youngest son mustered up his own hormone rage and with a few well placed apples and banshee yells, he chased after the surprised buck and banished him from the property. There was some talk among the men about urinating around the yard to mark the territory.

A phone call later informed us that this buck had been hand raised and the neighbor was keeping him in his ten acre, high fenced enclosure to protect it from the hunters. The deer had escaped the day before and now had returned to feed. The deer hadnít mentioned any thing about the crazy humans down below. The mixed emotions of being in rut and feeling a kinship with man, had led this majestic deer on a most curious adventure and left us with total respect and admiration for such a worthy opponent.