American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Monday, September 15, 2008

Getting Out

After the football game I shook off my malaise and grabbed my Fallkniven F1, 12cm Billy Can, Army firesteel, and a bottle of water and headed for the woods.

I didn't get far. I decided to build a fire in the rain instead of hiking through the mud and muck and I'm glad I did.

I got the fire going easily after plenty of prep work and noticed some movement in the woods while I was laying the fire and realized that three deer were just over the split rail fence and heading in my direction. I whistled and they didn't bat an ear so I went back to my work.

After a while they wandered off and I thought they were gone for the day.

Once the fire was burning nice and hot I saw one of them come back. This time I slowly moved toward the fence to get a better, closer view. I noticed the deer had a small rack of antlers and he was moving, more or less, in my direction again. Then I saw two more deer with small racks of antlers.

Three bucks, maybe two or three years old, were meeting up just over the fence and they started to circle one another and then the butting of heads and the crash of antlers broke the silence. There was grunting and barking and a loud *CLACK* then more grunting.

This all took place not 20 feet from me.

The loser wandered off and the second challenger approached the winner and the conflict resumed.

The winner of the first round also won the second round so he may be in line to be the dominant buck one of these days.

He then headed right at me and I got a little nervous as rutting bucks can get a little testy and getting mauled and stomped by a small buck was NOT on my agenda for the day. I clapped my hands twice and shouted at him and he just kept coming.

Then, for some reason, he turned and bolted toward his buddies and they slowly wandred back into the woods.

It was surreal...

Thanks for reading,



At 12:10 PM, Blogger sam_acw said...

How big do those bucks get? I've seen red deer stags in Scotland and they are pretty hefty - they can get up over 600lbs apparently

At 1:00 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...

I suppose the big boys could get up to 250 pounds or so but these were probably around 150-175.

They were, all three, still big enough to ruin my afternoon if they decided to. :)


At 5:36 AM, Anonymous said...

The best experiences often happen when least expected, in the rain sitting by a fire.

Those are pretty good sized deer by our standards (north eastern usa). Unless you count the moose which gets to about 1500 pounds.


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