And then there’s always a Psycho Deer

Which is probably what the Kennesaw police were thinking when Andrew called in the complaint. According to him, a “crazy rabid deer” had jumped over the fence in his backyard and was attacking his dog. He needed the police to shoot it immediately.

Um, hmmm….at this point they were probably remembering that a short time ago he called in asking if he could shoot deer “eating flowers on my own property. We’re supposed to own guns here, so I’m sure it’s fine, but I’m checking with you first.”

At that time, the cop had replied, “sure, you can shoot them, and then we can cuff and chain you and drag you down to the station to face charges for discharging a firearm inside city limits. You’ll face a heavy fine and probably do jail time, but don’t let that stop you.”

So, most likely with tongues planted firmly in cheeks, first one cruiser showed up, then a second and then a third. After an hour or so with all three cruisers still out there, we neighbors started venturing over thinking something juicy had happened, like a domestic dispute or a Hatfield/McCoy thing, or maybe even a break-in. Tom had broken out a six-pack.

From what we could surmise, if the deer had been in Andrew’s backyard, it was outside the fence at this point, but it wasn’t going anywhere and the police were confering amongst themselves as to what they should do. Eventually, they decided on a plan of action and it was to return to the station. “We think your dog was barking and the deer thought its young were in danger. We’ve never heard of a deer with rabies. We advise you to keep your dog inside until this blows over”.

Well, after they left, Andrew was in danger of blowing over, so I told to him the story of a former neighbor and his wife who had only lived in our cul-de-sac about 6 months. According to the former neighbor’s wife Trish, her George had shot a neighbor’s dog who was menacing her and their surrounding neighbors were so incensed (at George) that they were forced to move out and ended up in our cul-de-sac. On top of that, George was fined $10,000. She didn’t say anything about attorney’s fees, but they must have been substantial, leaving George sullen and resentful. After six months in our cul-de-sac, things apparently hadn’t gotten any better and they divorced and moved out.

Andrew seemed to cool down to a slow simmer after that, and Tom, who was on his third beer, suggested we have a cul-de-sac party on July 4. “Lots of beer and no kids…” That sounded like a plan, so we all returned to our homes and back to normal life.

A couple of days later, I was sipping coffee on the back deck, enjoying the cool air and looking down to see if our herd of deer were wandering through the gully below munching on leaves.

I didn’t see the herd, but I did see one deer, which was very strange. They never walk around alone. The deer was rapidly moving back and forth under a tree. I couldn’t see what it was doing through the leaves, but the tree was shaking violently. Then, I noticed at the other end of the tree was a big raccoon. It kept charging under the tree and getting thrown back. It would regroup and charge back in. A raccoon fighting a deer? This kept up for over an hour and I finally had to go back inside. From the looks of it, the raccoon was getting the worst of the confrontation.

But, a deer attacking a raccoon? I Googled “rabid deer” and discovered that any warm-blooded mammel can get rabies. It was pretty uncommon among white tailed deer, and averaged 0-2 per year in the entire United States. Rabid or psycho, the thing was acting nuts. I had new sympathy for Andrew, and I resolved to tell him that at least *I* didn’t think he was crazy. I also thought I would tell him about my own “deer solution” to keep them from eating the plants. I buy coyote urine and keep it in covered containers all over the property. We don’t have deer eating our plants any more. On the other hand maybe I’d better be quiet. What repels one animal may attract another and Andrew’s favorite cat was carried away by a coyote. Uh, oh.