This story is a contest winner from our November writing contest. Congrats to Katie! See her writing credits below the story. Enjoy!
I recently had a stand-off with a deer. I’d like to say I’m kidding, but unfortunately, as my luck with animals goes… I’m not.
I’d also like to say I ended up winning this stand-off, but then again, I’ll let you be the judge of that.
This encounter happened last month while I was visiting my hometown of Caro, Michigan.
If you’ve never heard of Caro, I can’t say I’m surprised. It’s a small farm town that sits in the ‘thumb’ of Michigan, about 2 hours north of Detroit.
My mom and step dad still live in the outskirts of town off a dead-end road. It’s the same house where I spent most of my high school years riding quads, mowing the lawn and having bonfires. It also happens to be the same place that this stand-off of mine occurred. After the summer the raccoon’s outsmarted our paintball guns… I should have known something was up with the animal’s around there.
With my mom and step dad's cottage being in such a remote spot, the quiet aloofness makes for a great home to various types of wildlife such as squirrels, chipmunks, birds and of course… deer.
Thanks to its rustic charm most of the year it really is a great spot for wildlife and deer to be…MOST of the time. The exception? Deer hunting season.
…If you’ve never seen the movie Escanaba in ‘Da Moonlight, you may not fully understand how much Michigander’s love their deer hunting season. Here’s the jist—hunting to a Michigander is like pumpkin spice to Fall loving females. It’s serious.
I was back in Michigan right before the start of hunting season this year, so the deer were still frolicking around rather care freely, just like little Bambies.
This particular afternoon I ran into town to wrap up a few errands. When I came back and was pulling up my drive, I noticed a young male buck was hanging out grazing in the front yard. He was right near the driveway and didn’t startle when I pulled up alongside him. So, of course, I did what any true Michigander that’s seen the same animal 100 times would do... I took pictures.
I was only about 20 yards away from him with my car’s music blaring yet the whole time he stayed put. He peeked up for a brief moment, but then went right back to his grazing. I figured country music must not be his thing. After a while of watching the deer and taking photos I decided it was time to move along. I pulled the car the rest of the way up the drive and began unloading my things.
As I hauled my bags in, I noticed the deer was still in his spot, maybe 15 yards away by this point. He hadn’t moved an inch.
This seemed odd as most deer usually get skittish once they see human’s, especially when hunting seasons right around the corner.
Something seemed off with this guy…
I walked inside and set my stuff down before heading back outside; I wanted to see if I could figure out what this deer’s deal was.
When outside I found that he was still in the same position, except for one thing. Instead of grazing, he was looking right at me… as if I were the one intruding on his property.
Not cool deer, not cool.
I looked him right back in the eyes and yelled out, ‘HEY!’, hoping to give him a start.
He cocked his head towards me as if I were annoying him. We each stayed there standing our ground in silence… eyes locked on each other in a rather intense stare-off.
Then, he picked up his right hoof and let out a huge puff of air while he slammed it down onto the ground.
The words ‘oh crap’ came to mind as I grew a bit uneasy with my current situation at hand. I’d never seen a deer do such a thing let alone be so bold. It was clear he meant business.
I decided I’d best show him I wasn't going to let him win that easily. So, I hovered my right hand over the door handle—just in case I needed to make a quick getaway to safety—and then picked my right foot up and slammed it right back down at him.
He cocked his head, probably wondering if I were actually serious.
Oh, boy was I. I‘d never been so serious in my whole entire life.
He picked his hoof back up and slammed it down with a louder huff this time, his gaze fierce, trying to eye me down.
So, this was how it was going to be, eh?
I matched his movement again as I picked up my foot and slammed it down just as hard, adding a ‘ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!’ For good measure.
This foot-stomping charade went on for quite a while.
With each stomp, I grew increasingly more annoyed with our little game. I needed to end this battle once and for all.
I took a deep breath, mentally preparing myself to extract my hand from the safety of the door handle. Then, in one swift motion, I stomped about 5 steps forward yelling, ‘GET OUT OF HERE GET OUT OF HERE GET OUT OF HERE!!!’ at the top of my lungs.
You’d think my antics would have at least phased him.
But nope, not this cavalier deer.
He observed my idiotic outburst and then very… very… slowly, turned and meandered off. Just like the careless or fearless deer he was.
I watched him a moment longer until what had just happened finally sank in.
It was mine.
I’d beaten a deer in a stand-off.
A smirk spread across my face as I watched my opponent saunter back off into the wild, wishing him adieu.
“Well played you beautifully, brave deer. Well played. I wish you the best of luck out there”.
Katie Bertrand is a freelance Article, Fiction and Narrative non-fiction writer.
She received her B.S. in Merchandising and Product Development from Western Michigan University. In Katie’s free time she enjoys spending time in the great outdoors, reading her way through a good book, or hanging out with super fun, interesting people.
Among friends & loved ones she's best known for her Michigan accent, her fiery red hair, and her 20-pound orange rescue cat, M.G.
Most of the good stuff about Maddie "Be Yourself" Gee is on the About page, but that page got out of hand. Don't go there. Maddie is an animal expert, a crazy person, and a writer. Full Disclosure - this blog does have Amazon affiliate links in it for products that Maddie likes. Your use of the Amazon links is greatly appreciated, but the intent is just to help keep things running and offer giveaways. You are welcome to search for the items elsewhere if you prefer it.
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