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Deer vs. me in a standoffPosted Wednesday, December 10, 2008, at 1:48 PM
There's nothing like a deer to make you get a move on.
I was running on Griffin Park's walking trail this morning, a little irritated because my first mile run was 10 seconds slower than Tuesday's time, and decided to walk back up the trail, then run full blast back down as far as I could.
If you ever wondered, it takes approximately 17 minutes to walk a mile on that trail. I'm down to around 10:50 running, and not satisfied with that number.
So I'm at the top of the hill on the trail's far end resetting my timer. Then I look up. And, standing between trees and blending in quite well, is a deer, on the other side of a wire fence, maybe 20 yards or so away.
The deer -- antlerless, so I suppose it was a doe or young buck -- just stood there, staring.
Staring. Staring. Not moving. Still staring.
So I stood my ground and stared back -- briefly.
And wondered … Why isn't this deer running away?
Does it have young deer nearby and consider me a threat? Is it going to leap the fence and attack me? Do deer attack people? If I run, is the deer going to chase me?
I'm used to seeing deer when driving, and they usually run if they haven't hit or been hit by my car. T-G colleague Brian Mosely and I apparently drive deer magnets disguised as vehicles, because we've struck more than our share of deer over the past few years. Those that survived the impacts ran.
The deer and I kept staring. Should I say something? Forget it. The deer doesn't speak English. Should I yell? What if it gets angry? Can I fight off a deer? Does it want me to feed or pet it?
I decided if I just eased away quietly it probably wouldn't do anything. So I eased away … for about a split-second or so. Then I took off like a bullet, with occasional looks behind and beside to see if I was being chased. The deer didn't follow.
At least I got a good workout. Thanks, deer, wherever you are.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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