Friday, January 27, 2012

Don't Feed the Deer

Yeah I know deer are so cute and cuddly, but they aren't always that way. In fact if you've ever had one make themselves at home in your camp, shoving their nose into your tent or rummaging through your gear, they can be downright scary. I know it sounds silly, but hear me out. Even a doe can weigh well over a hundred pounds, and when they aren't afraid to just walk right up to you and start sniffing around it can make your heart beat a little faster, and I'm pretty sure a large deer, male or female, can kick the crap out of a human being.

Two summers ago I was camped on this lake shore in Montana and this big white tail doe did just that. She strolled confidently right into our camp and started poking her nose into everything. At first it was like a novelty. I got out the camera and started taking pictures. It was a beautiful animal to be sure. The problem was she wasn't afraid of humans at all. She walked right up to us as if we were just one of the herd.  Eventually we grew irritated and tried to drive her off, but she wouldn't budge. She looked at us like she couldn't care less that we didn't want her around. This went on for about an hour, and finally we had to resort to throwing rocks and sticks at her. I know that sounds mean, but a large animal waking you up in the middle of the night sniffing around your tent can be terrifying, especially in Grizzly country. 

She thought she was going to find an easy meal in our camp, but it didn't happen.


The point is, don't feed the deer, or any wild animals. It's not natural and it's not right. You know that saying, "A fed bear is a dead bear", well it can be true for deer as well. When wild animals lose their fear of humans, and begin to associate them with food, they can become unpredictable and aggressive, and that's when we people get killed.