Friday, October 21, 2011

A Friendly Four-Legged Visitor

A couple of weeks ago Papa Pea went out to close up the critters for the night. As he was finishing, he noticed a young buck deer standing outside the fenced in area.

Seeing deer around our place is not unusual. At certain times of the year they are so prevalent that we can't drive in or out of our driveway through the woods without encountering a deer or often times three or four together.

We don't feed the deer (as many people in our area do) because we don't want them to become dependent on us. Also, we'd just as soon they didn't get used to coming close to our house and buildings because they will destroy just about any vegetation we humans (who have invaded their territory!) plant.

What was unusual about this little buck the night Papa Pea first saw him was that he wasn't skittish as deer most often are and he didn't turn and run when he saw this big guy walking across the yard not far from him.

Matter of fact, the deer started walking toward Papa Pea, came right up to him . . .

. . . and stuck his head in the grain bucket. This was obviously a deer that someone had trained to eat from their hand . . .

. . . which is exactly what he did when offered a handful of grain by Papa Pea. (What was that I said about us not feeding the deer?)

Our friendly deer has shown up two or three more times but up until last night, it's always been too dark for me to get any pictures.

Last night hubby stuck his head in the door and told me to come out with my camera. I was in luck in that I had nearly enough light and was able to get these included pictures of our new friend.

Finally Papa Pea told him he thought he'd had enough to eat, gave him a pat on the neck and the deer turned to walk off into the woods.

The sad thing we're thinking about is that hunting season is coming up soon and I don't think the little guy stands a chance because he'll probably walk right up to the first hunter he encounters and he'll be a goner. Maybe that's another good reason not to feed or tame deer around here.


  1. Oh I love deer! It is sad that he's so habituated to humans he'll come right up to them. At least if he gets shot by a hunter it will be a fast humane death and the hunter will use the meat.

  2. You are smart not to feed them. That deer sure was friendly and bold. You got great pictures!

  3. Poor little guy- he probably doesn't stand a chance. But he is lovely- at your house. We've got plenty of our own but they don't let us get close.

  4. Amazing that he was so tame up there in the north woods. How very bold and brave of him! Fabulous pictures!

  5. Wow, that is a neat experience! I agree, it doesn't bode well for his chances during hunting season.

  6. I hate to see them that tame--it makes it so easy for hunters then because the deer has no fear. You got some fine pics though. It must have been neat!

  7. amazing-he let him get so close and how thrilling for papa pea.can't get much more real than papa pea needs one of those big long horn callers[ sort of like Tarzan's] let out the call ,he is the protector of the forest.

  8. JJ - He does seem like such a sweet little guy.

    Sparkless - We can hope it will happen that way.

    Nancy - We're not going to feed this friendly guy anymore. No sense encouraging him to be even less wary of humans.

    Judy - It was an experience to see a deer so up close and personal! They truly are beautiful creatures.

    Mama Tea - We're wondering who it was that tamed him. And why did his mama not teach him to be afraid of humans? It would be interesting to know his circumstances.

    LindaCO - If he learns he won't get any more handouts here, I'm hoping he stops coming by. I'd hate to see him all the time until hunting season starts and then have him disappear . . . if you know what I mean.

    Sue - Yup, I was glad he came this once before it was too dark for the photographs.

    judy - It has been a neat experience to have a deer come up to you just as a horse or pony would do.

  9. The deer around here come close, but not that close! If you can picture it = I run out of the house flapping my arms when they start nibbling on my Lilac plants and they take off fast. They stop about 50 feet away, turn and look and are probably asking each other "What the ---- was that?"

    Good pictures; I'm glad you won't feed him again.

  10. I was thinking about hunting season when I read about this little guy. I don't imagine he'll last through the first season. Too bad. Glad you don't feed them!

  11. Yvette - I can just picture the scene by your description! Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

    Lori - Maybe because he's so little this year, the hunters will wait for a bigger buck? I can only hope.

  12. So cute, but reminds me of a second cousin who was recovering from cancer when he found a 3 legged injured deer. He nursed the young doe from the injury and she became a pet for years. She also helped him with his own recovery. He even had an orange vest made for her so no one would shoot her during hunting season. But this is PA, and of course they shot a 3 legged deer with an orange vest on. He was devestated. So sad.

  13. Jane - That is such a sad story. But ya know, it seems that so many times when we try to tame wild animals, it ends up that way.

  14. What wonderful pictures! Sometimes it is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture - meaning people who hand tame wild animals don't realize that they're setting them up. But what a great experience.

  15. Susan - Then there's the other side of the coin. Will this deer have had a better life in having had all kinds of good stuff to eat (provided by humans) in his short life (assuming he'll be shot within the next couple of months) than he would have had if he had starved this winter for lack of "natural" food because of severe weather and/or over-population?

  16. I agree, it's sad that people are taming those deer, it's probably been going on for awhile from the looks of it, I sure hope it isn't unsporting hunters!

  17. Erin - I'm betting it's people who feed the deer all winter with corn and hay. I'm sure the people get a lot of pleasure out of it, but don't they see that eliminating the deer's fear of humans almost insures the deer's early demise?