A Little Levity
I can't take credit for the following but it sure fits the bill. I received it from my sister in Colorado and who knows how many hands it passed through before landing in her inbox. So take it for what it's worth and enjoy a laugh break on me.
NOT A GOOD IDEA TO ROPE A DEER
(Author unknown, probably for good reason)
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 I'm around, it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head to keep it calm. Then I would hog tie it and transport it home.
I filled the cattle feeder, then hid down at the end of 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 - three 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 toward it, it took a step away. Then I put a little tension on the rope. Just a little. That's when my education in deer wrangling began.
The first thing 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. I could handle a cow or a colt in that weight range on the end of a rope and still retain some dignity. A deer, however? 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 seem to have as much stamina as a cow or a colt. A brief 10 minutes into the struggle, it was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet again when I finally managed to stand up. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the gash in my head. At this point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of my rope!
I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely go off and die slowly and painfully somewhere. At the time, there was no love at all between me and that deer. At the moment, I hated that deer and I would venture to guess the feeling was mutual. But 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 rocks, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny bit of the responsibility for the situation this deer and I 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 cleverly set beforehand ...kind of like a squeeze chute. I got it to back in there and I began 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 little fella grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse. When a horse bites you, they come at you fast, bite and then let go. When a deer bites you, they bite hard and hang on ...and then they proceed to shake their head like a pit bull. Trust me, 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 seemed like the deer had a hold of me, biting down and shaking for several minutes but it was probably only several seconds. But I, being so much smarter than a deer, tricked it. While I distracted it with letting it try to rip the tendons from my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled the rope loose.
That is 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 hind legs and strike at you right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are amazingly sharp. I learned a long time ago that, when an animal is striking at you and you don't think you can get away easily, the best thing to do is to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move toward the animal. With cows and horse, this tends to make them back away a little, giving you a chance to escape. Deer are different.
In the course of a millisecond, I could tell my plan wasn't working so I devised a different plan. I screamed like a girl and tried to turn and run. The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that rears up to strike at you is because there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses in that regard. Besides being twice as strong and three times as evil as any outlaw bronc, this deer had wicked accurate aim. The second I turned to run, it hit me square in the back of the head and knocked me down.
Now when a deer knocks you down, it does not leave. I suspect it does not recognize that you are no longer a threat. But instead of knocking you down and taking off, they paw at your back and jump up and down on you while you lay there crying like a little girl and trying to shield 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 don't bring a rope. They bring a rifle with a scope to sort of even the odds. All of these events are true, so help me God.
The letter was signed, simply "An Educated Rancher"
I guess this story was especially humorous to me because I happened to witness a similar incident in our very own driveway involving a rope, Yeoldfurt and a neighbor's stray emu chick. Seriously, I kid you not! No blood was shed, either by Yeoldfurt or the emu ...though the latter did have a few feathers ruffled before it was all over. But that's a story for another day.