Friday, November 9, 2012

Stare Down

Those of you who have been readers for awhile know that I have issues in animal.  All kinds, during my runs.  With legs, without, with fur,without.  Majority of the time, they just hang out and watch me go by from a distance.  Other times they run with me (my friend Wylie Coyote who ran several miles with me last year, pacing me for 1/2 mile every morning. 

Yesterday morning,  I ran up on a group of Mule Deer does and fawns, trucking (slowly) down the road.  They finally jumped the fence and went into the hills when I was about 25 yards away from them.  I see them all the time (one even has a name, Tippy because of her funky tipped ears).  They dont bother me.

THIS morning, I saw the same group of does.....but this time, they were accompanied by 2 bucks.  Neither are very big (their futures should be secured, even though hunting season does open tomorrow at sunrise) but still...there is something imposing and impressive about being 25 yards away from a buck. 

This buck looks NOTHING like the one I came across....but its hard to find a photo of a less then stellar buck on the computer.  But this gives you city slickers an idea of the size (body mass) of the deer I had a staring contest with.....he won. 

Then I remember one very important thing.....the Rut.  For those of you non-hunters (or not living with a hunter) the rut is breeding season.  Bucks are chasing does to, know.  They tend to be more aggressive...brave....stupid (all the things that happens to all males of any species when breeding).  We were out sitting in the pivot scouting and watching 2 bucks sparring over a group of does just last week (also had a coyote come right up on us, come to a skidding stop 4 feet away because he didnt see us sitting there...hows that for keeping quite :)

Well, the does went across the road, the one buck (who has a the weirdest rack I have even see...whitetail on one side, forked like a muley on the other....strange) came out and walked on just fine....the other one stepped out from behind the hill, walked s-l-o-w-l-y and stopped in the middle of the road.  Just staring at me.  At 25 yards.  And we just stared at each other.  He would look around at his does, and then look back at me...but he never really made a move to chase them, which of course,  I was sure it was because he was going to charge after me (because Im such a threat).  I was staring back, but my mid was weighing the options of how fast I could get to the bales/over the fence if I needed to make a quick getaway (because Im so sure of my lightening fast running skills that I could outrun an aggressive buck....yep...thats me, the rational thinker).

Our stare down only lasted about 30 seconds (which felt like 30 minutes to me) before he s-l-o-w-l-y walked off to his does, now waiting for him on the side of a hill in the pasture.  He jumped the fence, and then stopped to stare at me again.  So I took the opportunity to engage my mongoose like running skills and haul my ass out of there faster then a muley could catch me (at least, thats what I told myself) and continued on my run cautiously and finished off my 3 miles.  Did I mention this little adventure took place at .74 of my 3 mile run.....meaning I had to run back past that point again.....but thankfully, his does took off and like a good little male...he followed the females (and left me alone).

Love the critters who surround me.  I really do (minus the snakes/skunks/badgers and porcupines)....I couldnt imagine not falling asleep with the coyotes singing or the cows mooing.  But occasionally, I would like them to stay on their side of the fence....I wont run there, they can stay out of my way the road . 

If not, come tomorrow and for the next 8 days, I will be locked and loaded with a 22-250 and the staring contest might not end so well for him.

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