What usually happens when you see a deer? More often than not, the deer will freeze and at least for a few seconds, wait for you to make the next move. Then they’ll take off. It’s not that you mean them harm or anything, they just have a built-in fear of humans (predators?). I’ve noticed this especially being true with fawns. Most of the time they don’t even pause to find out what you’re doing. They see you and boom they’re gone. If there’s a doe with them, she might be less haphazard about it but will join up with the fawns or else the fawns will follow her deeper into hiding.
I was riding my bicycle the other day when I saw a couple of fawns in the distance. In order to keep from spooking them, I stopped quietly and took a few pictures from way off.
Then I slowly pedaled closer and the fawns were as ready as could be to gallup away. The mama deer trailed them, keeping a watchful eye on me. In fact, she didn’t run away at all. I rolled to a stop where she was just a few feet off the road. The fawns had retreated a safe distance away, waiting for her, I’m sure. I caught on pretty quick that this doe wasn’t like others I’ve seen. Not only was she not retreating, but I noticed she took a few steps TOWARDS me! I remember thinking, “Is this where I get attacked by a deer and no one’s here to see it?” All I could think is that I’d drop my bike and run! Pretty smart, right? Give up a bike that goes pretty far pretty fast to flop around on my feet while an angry deer fights me. I raised my camera. It was then she gave me a look, another moment I’ve not experienced before. It’s as if she was saying, “Do you feel lucky? Well, DO YA??”
She hadn’t attacked me yet when I looked into her eyes and it was then very obvious this deer won’t, and hasn’t, taken any crap from anyone, ever.
That’s another moment I won’t soon forget. This deer has been through some things and lived. She is strong and fearless protector of her babies. When a potential threat arises (in this case, me), she doesn’t back down. She stands between harm and her fawns, not thinking twice about raising hoof to face, I’m sure.
As far as what’s going on with her eye, I have no idea. I wasn’t about to get a closer look, either. I rather not have hoof-shaped scars all over my body.
Thanks for dropping in…
-Out of the Wilderness