Sunday, June 10, 2012

I Just Saved a Baby Deer You Guys!

I just saved a baby deer. You know a cute adorable baby deer fawn.

Okay, so I was making hay, and I had decided to start with my prize hay meadow. The grasses were as tall as I was, thick and perfect. And of course I was using my trusty Scythe. Which for those of you that don't know, allows me to make hay by hand.

There is a wonderful rhythm that you fall into when you scythe. You cut, step pause, cut step pause. It's not noisy or messy. The hay falls into neat rows along your path. You can hear the wind in the trees and feel the grasses swaying around you. It is zen.

Until of course you are startled half out of your mind by a deer fawn leaping out of your path and running away into another part of the meadow.

Well then.

So being me, I immediately went to the upper fields to scythe so that mom would have time to move junior. Which it turns out was a bad idea because, halfway through the second field I surprised another fawn. At which point we decided it was time for lunch.

Mmm lunch.

So we get back and discover Mama is there. She has found her fawn, who is running around the cut meadow and playing. After a few minutes of eyeballing us warily mom and baby made off into the woods while looking goddamned majestic.

So we finish the upper meadow and return to my beautiful prize hay meadow of awesome.

Only to discover something horrible had happened.

It turns out the the first fawn I had seen that day had not ran off. Instead he had been trying to run off, and had gotten tangled in a section of fencing we had not yet removed.

Scott spotted him first. He called me over and pointed it out. I felt horrified. Not only had I scared the shit out of this little guy, I also owned the fencing that was now a live trap. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

There was only one thing to do. Get him out of there.

So I waded through the chest and waist high meadow to the line of fence. It was half laying down, so I had to be very careful not to step on the fence itself or it would bend down alarmingly. Halfway there my stomach did one of those flips that makes your skin crawl. He was caught in the big square fencing, so that his stomach was hooked over the wire with his legs through on either side. This wasn't going to be easy. I would have to pull each leg out separately, while he would be trying to kick me into a mushy pile of predator.

Gingerly, fearing the worst, I slowly slid up beside him. I was afraid to touch him. He couldn't kick me yet, but I was afraid that the moment I touched him he would start flailing and hurt himself further. The seconds dragged on while I stood there staring at this poor trapped wild thing while Scott said encouraging things like “When you touch him, he's gonna explode” and “watch out cause he's gonna kick the shit out of you.”

Deciding I just wouldn't think about it anymore I reached down and touched his rump. Nothing happened. He didn't move an inch. He was too exhausted. Carefully I reached down and gently but firmly grabbed his right leg. I had to be careful, because he had a nasty scrap on that leg, but it did not appear to be bleeding. Carefully I pulled the leg up and fed it down through the same hole his belly was in.

And that's when all hell broke loose.

Feeling his leg come free he began to thrash wildly, forgetting his left leg was still stuck, which made him panic even more. My first thought was 'oh god he is going to break his leg.' Also he began screaming at the top of his little deer lungs. Without stopping to think about the fact that he was not hanging as limp as a doll anymore I grabbed his left leg, and with a surprising deftnesses fed it back through the hole in the wire.

It was like movie scene. The fawn fell forward, scrambling to get his feet under him and pushing himself into the grasses. Time seemed to stop and slow down. Scott said something, but I didn't listen, I couldn't listen. I was watching my fawn. His spots stood out white as snow on his brown rump as the sun streamed down into the meadow, the edges of the scene softened by my intensity of that moment. He was moving both back legs. He was going to be okay.

At that point my brain caught up to the rest of what was going on and I realized that what Scott said was “here comes mom.”

And she was PISSED.

I have never heard deer make the sounds she was making. Remember that the grass is almost over my head. I could barely see her, but my god I could hear her. She was snorting and stamping and crashing through the brush like a motherfucking bear. At this point I realized that I was standing right by her fawn, who a few seconds ago was screaming bloody murder. Oh shit.

I ran like a little girl.

My brain, who never feels the need to clue me in on these moments, probably because I would fuck fleeing up somehow if it did, didn't come back to me until I was standing by the bunny shed. I called to Scott and together we made our way out of field.

We gave mom a good half hour to calm down before finishing off the meadow. We left the fawns section intact, and this morning he was gone. Which means that mom came back and moved him and that his legs were fine and holy crap I just saved a baby deer.

Holy crap.


I'm... I'm awesome.


  1. Your feats of magnificence never cease to amaze me!

    Good for you about the baby deer. They certainly do make a racket for such a tiny little creature, don't they?

    When i cut hay, with a tractor and 15 foot hay cutter, I always have to be on the lookout for baby deer. They won't move until you are right on top of them and sometimes they will jump up and run right into the moving parts of the cutter. So far i've been able to avoid that myself but i've seen the aftermath of what can happen. I have shooshed a few to safety though. :)

    1. Yeah, I know. The first one was less then four feet from me. If I had been using a tractor I don't think he would have made it. I was just happy I could help the little guy out. They are such beautiful animals.

  2. Well, it's only been twelve hours or so and you've already made me break my blogging vow of silence. When I saw the title of this post I just couldn't resist! Deer are so beautiful - and then fawns.... awww...... cuteness!

    The same situation happened when I was in France one year - but it was a stag and its antlers were caught in the fence. France is really particular about their deer (I don't quite understand why since they also hunt them) but no one was allowed to help. Instead, the forestry department had to be notified. They came... a lot of them! And then they needed reinforcements - so the firemen came.... and the vet... and so on and so forth. Eventually there was a GIGANTIC ring of officials around this poor stag who was exhausted from trying to de-tangle himself. Must have been fifty to a hundred men.

    Anyway, the vet shot the deer with a tranquillizer gun but nothing happened. So they shot it with a second tranquillizer and it appeared to work - the deer collapsed. They cut the wire and left the stag to wake up on its own. Unfortunately two tranquillizers is not a good thing and the stag died.

    I like your story better.

    1. Oh that's sad, I wish they could have saved him. Sorry about your blogging vow of silence, but I think I enjoy your posts too much to have let it go on for too long. :)

  3. I'm honestly impressed you avoided getting the shit kicked out of you. Good on you for helping the little dude. Mad karma points for down the road.

  4. Wow. I never knew that deer made any noise...except "thump" if you hit them with a car.

    Sorry, very bad humor. I just couldn't stop myself.

    But that is an outstanding story! "Queen Holly, deer whisperer".

  5. You know what? You are awesome. You saved a baby deer.