A random look at the life and times of Jim Rising recovering radio addict and newspaper columnist.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Oh! Deer!

It’s not the first time and it probably won’t be the last. That doesn’t make it any easier. We can always tell when something has happened on the road that runs by the Rising Ranch. It’s a busy road which many use as an alternate route to Harvey’s lake. Posted speed limit is 35 but that’s a laugh and half. In spite of the heavy traffic it’s a very rural area. Only a scattering of houses and the presence of the Huntsville reservoir make it an ideal place for all sorts of wildlife. We have had countless deer in our backyard and on one very memorable occasion a bear came to dine on our bird feeder. I would venture to say there are more deer than people on this road and the surrounding woods. As we are set up on a small hillside we can see when traffic stops and that’s what happened after a loud bang the other night just at dusk. By the time I got the boots and jacket on and found a flashlight with batteries not purchased in the Carter administration the traffic had dispersed. It took a bit of searching but I found what I feared I would. A large buck with at least four points was a little ways up in the woods near the road and he was in severe distress. It was pretty obvious that his back had been broken by being struck by a car.
It was snowing lightly and cold enough so I could see his breath. When I shined the flashlight on him he panicked and heaved himself forward a few feet. He stopped and made a mournful low sound, surprisingly loud. It sounded like a moan. Traffic swept by on the road. The deer made another move and ended up rolling down the bank into the gulley by the side of the road. His legs windmilled in the water and splashed. He wasn’t going any further. I jogged back up to the house and called 911. I went back down to the deer and waited. He thrashed a bit more and then looked at me as if to say, can’t you do something here? His mouth moved and if he could have spoken I guess I know what he would have said.
The Policeman who responded to the call was unwilling to put him out of his misery. I own no guns. So I watched and waited for the breath to stop making its white plumes from the animal’s nose. The cop left. I went back to my warm house on the hill. And this morning the young buck is still there, covered with a blanket of new fallen snow.

1 comment:

Jim Rising said...

isn't it legal to eat roadkill in PA?