Sunday, November 2, 2008

When Animals Attack Your To Do List

Patrick and I went down to the Hudson Valley this weekend with a couple of specific things we wanted to get accomplished. Patrick was going to work on getting the new fencing up for the sheep and goats and while I got all the stuff we wanted to get rid of ready for a yard sale we were planning for Saturday and Sunday.

We'd hired our friend Tim to come over and dig the post holes for the fence with his Bobcat on Friday. Around lunch time, Harry and I went to take the two of them lunch, but when we got there we saw two policemen standing next to two police cars parked in front of the gate and Patrick and Tim up on Tim's flatbed trailer. All four of them were looking at something but I couldn't see what until I got out of my truck. 

Come to find out Patrick and Tim had been working away digging post holes when they saw a buck deer walking towards them. It kept getting closer and closer until it was actually nuzzling Patrick. The buck got more aggressive and eventually chased them up on to the flatbed. Patrick called the town police, and after the dispatcher stopped laughing, she sent two cars over to investigate. Unfortunately, both of the cops were afraid of the deer too, so not much had been resolved when I arrived.


Of course I thought the whole situation was hilarious, but also vexing, because we were paying Tim by the hour and I found out that work had already been held up for two hours! Then I got out of the truck with my camera and the deer came after me. It actually put it's back feet on my back and was trying to push me down. One of the officers pulled his gun and aimed at the deer but I stayed calm and walked over the flat bed and climbed up and back into my truck through the window.





Tim eventually snuck back into the pasture to try to get back to work.


Then the deer chased Patrick over the fence...
and Pat and Tim got back to work while one of the policemen got friendly with the deer.
Eventually, a Department of Environmental Conservation officer arrived to take care of the situation. It turns out that a man who lives in our neighborhood had been feeding this deer since he was baby. The poor deer never learned to be afraid of people. The week before he showed up at our farm he had chased a jogger on our street and tried to mate with her. The DEC had been looking for him since then because they were afraid he would really hurt someone.
Unfortunately this story doesn't end well for the deer. And I was incredibly angry and sad for the rest of the weekend at the silly man who tried to make a wild animal into a pet. BTW- it's illegal in New York to feed deer.

Patrick and Tim did manage to get the rest of the post holes dug before dark,
but we still didn't get the fence finished this weekend.

Looks like it will be another week till we can move the sheep and goats down to New York. Grrrr...

7 comments:

--Deb said...

I definitely see the "hilarious but also vexing" part of this story ... right up until that tragic twist at the end. Poor deer.

Oh, and I'm having a contest over at Knitting Scholar. Wanna help spread the word?

Knitting Painter Woman said...

So glad that all of you were OK. Perhaps the deer feeder can pay Tom's overtime? Although that might not be a great way to start neighborly relations...

Joanb said...

I echo Deb's comments. Poor deer, he just didn't know any better.

habitual said...

Please tell me they didn't kill the deer.... certainly a wildlife rehab center would have taken him?

That is a sad ending to an otherwise interesting story!

Susan said...

It was sad, habitual. But yes, they had to put him down. There is a rabies epidemic in New York and in situations like this the DEC is required to kill the animal and have it tested.

It was heartbreaking and infuriating.

Turtle said...

sorry about the work delay but what a story, lol! Our neighbor feeds the local stray cats and in turn the raccoons as well, but they still have a great respect for humans...so far!

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