Oh, Deer!

During my sabbatical (January through March of this year) Willa enjoyed the best of both worlds spending time in Boise, Idaho with Len, and then he’d bring her to me in Darby, Montana. She adored the wilds of Montana for a couple of reasons:

  1. The two resident cats where we stayed—Marlo and Avocado.
  2. The zillions of up-close-and-personal mule deer. Willa always stayed statue-still and simply enjoyed watching them.
Willa watching the Nature Channel—deer outside the window

And then there was the day that a doe hopped the six-foot wooden fence into the back yard and couldn’t get back out. That was definitely an oh, deer moment. I made like Harry Potter and put on my invisibility cloak, snuck outside and opened the gate, then snuck back in and watched through the window. Sure enough, the moment she saw the way to freedom she made like a bread truck and hauled her buns!

Literal or figurative, what was your last “oh, deer” moment?

© lauriebuchanan.com

65 thoughts on “Oh, Deer!

  1. Coming back from Christchurch about a year ago, early in the morning, coming down toward Oaro, and a very dark Fellow deer jumped onto the road just in front of me and stood there and looked at me, completely unconcerned by the car or it headlights.

  2. I’ve had lots literal “Oh, deer!” moments around here–and we’ve had deer leap our 6 ft. fence. One of the most amazing moments though was when I went out to get the newspaper early one morning. There was a baby dear across the street, grazing on my neighbor’s lawn. Suddenly it started bleating–I had no idea that baby deer made that sound. I was mesmerized. I think he was looking for his mom. I can’t remember now, if she showed up, but eventually, he ran down the street.

  3. How lovely and how good of you to let the poor ‘dear’ out! My last ‘Oh Deer’ moment was in school recently when half way through our first class of the morning, I noticed I was wearing odd shoes! I can’t tell you how hilarious everyone found it and a few colleagues kept checking for days afterwards that I was wearing a proper pair. I have since switched to sandals, of which I only have a pair, so no mistakes of that sort can be made now.

  4. This “oh deer” moment is not quite as endearing, and not a deer. I walked out into the front of my home and noticed something moving quickly across the lawn, close to the grass. Then, I saw it. Thankfully it was a turtle, not a snake. But, it was headed toward the street. Looking in the direction it was going I saw a truck coming up the hill. My Wonder Woman instinct kicked in. I couldn’t just follow the sage advice to leave it alone or take it in the direction they were going, “Oh deer,” what do I do? I picked it up safely in the middle to remove it from danger and keep away from its claws. How was I rewarded for my kindness? As I was walking it back towards the wetland, the turtle sent a stream of pee onto my leg. Yuck! It’s tough being a superhero these days.

      • Probably right. Sadly, I could not speak turtle to reassure him. When I left the turtle at an access point to the wetland area, he did turn around and give me a bit of a “fare-thee-well” look.

      • Audrey — I’m glad you got a fare-thee well look.

        When we were in Scotland, our son saved a lamb from drowning. He carried the lamb over his shoulders out of the frigid Atlantic water and set it on the sand. Neither the mama (who’d been watching with semi-interest), or the baby said thank you. They merely scampered off over the dunes.

  5. Although everyone tells us deer abound in Austin, after 17 months in a house backing on a greenbelt, we have yet to see one. An old one was the day two fawns walked up to the sliding door in our family room in Pittsburgh and peered into the room.

    Here the most excitement has been our raccoon moments. A pair developed a liking for our deck. Two of our bedroom windows look out onto that deck, and the male raccoon liked to climb the screens. The third time this happened, at 2 AM, My Hero slipped on sandals and grabbed a detached mop handle from the hall closet on his way outside. Before he got there, I was nose to nose with that critter, with only the thickness of glass between us. “What’s to eat?” he seemed to say.

    My skivvy-clad Hero arrived on the scene just then. He went into action waving that handle and fencing with said defenseless raccoon. That poor critter soon took the path of seemingly least resistance and jumped onto a rosebush at the side of the deck for the five foot descent. I hope nothing got infected. We have not seen those critters again, although they leave brown calling cards in the garden near areas where they work mulch into the soil, in search of grubs, I suppose.

    • ColdHandBoyack — You’re absolutely right. Hunter Creek is close; not quite a mile from our carriage house.

      Our son ‘s apartment backs up to it (and with the recent high water level, nearly paid a visit to his living room).

  6. We often have herds of deer 🦌 in our yard in Carbondale, Illinois! When I was a child it was quite rare to see a deer, and a subject of conversation for some time after.

  7. First of all, I like your vivid description of the deer spotting freedom ” . . . she made like a bread truck and hauled her buns!”

    We live in a nature preserve and don’t see many deer during the daytime, but notice that they nibble on impatiens blooms while we are fast asleep. Nature netting has fixed that!

    I had an Oh Dear! moment last week when my website went “down.” It’s back up again. Both my web guy and I cheered “Hallelujah!”

  8. I was walking in the woods at our lake house cottage when i was a kid and came around a sandy path. two new born fawns still wet were wobbling in the sand. I thought i had scared the mommy because i didnt see her. Then, she made herself known by charging me with great courage i turned and ran, (* at the time in track so i did a quick bolt!) not knowing if she would catch me and kick me to mush I ran as fast as my bare feet could spring l
    Later that day, i saw the new family again on a meadow ridge. both our eyes looked knowing to each other and i saw their three white tails in unison while they took a prance over the ferns.

    PS Thanks for highlighting my name on your dash photo! So great to see everyone holding your fantastic book of wisdom!

  9. Laurie, I have had more “Oh, Deer!” moments than I care to think about, most of them having taken place in one or the other of my gardens. One of the most alarming though did not involve deer at all….just a Mama Black Bear and her two cubs. While eating breakfast in my cabin on Burnt Mountain, Ga., my daughters and I were vastly surprised to see a large, dark shape watching us through the dining room window. It could have been a “Goldilock’s Moment” but we decided to just watch quietly instead of yelling and hiding in the closet. An “Oh, Deer!” moment we will not soon forget!

    • Sandi — Oh my blessed word! What a scary-cool encounter. A mama black bear and her cubs watching you right through the kitchen window (which she could have broken in a nano-second had she wanted to) 🙂

  10. Many deer make their home on Mayne Island. There are signs everywhere that advise dog owners to keep dogs under control at all times. Oh, how I wish Willa could have a heart-to-heart with my dog, Bim. : )

  11. That would be driving in New Jersey/Philly area. I had a whole herd of “Oh Deer’s” uttering out of my baby faced mouth. Then when I was driving in the Washington D.C. the “Oh Deer’s” had been replaced with Oh Elks, Oh Bears, Oh Lions, Oh Elephants.

  12. We had a young one get stuck in our yard …. not remembering how to get out. I had to corral him around the edge to the gate. An other time, early in the morning I walked towards the back of our yard and came face to face with a big buck. (10 prongs). I burst out laughing, as I thought Don had set up a fake deer statue overnight.
    And then his nose twitched….
    I don’t know who moved faster, him or me!!

    • Val — Oh my gosh, it’s hysterical that you thought Don had set up a deer statue (he must be a funny guy).

      And then you saw the nose of the ten-pronged(!) buck twitch. I’m sure your heart was in your throat as you were peeling out of there for all you were worth!

  13. A few years ago, I removed 3 of my lush and beautiful perennial gardens to prevent “Oh, Deer!” moments. However, I continue to have “Oh, Rabbit and/or Chipmunk” moments when those pesky critters munch on my hostas.I miss my gardens, but I do not miss the upsets when the deer ate the flowers that I lovingly planted and tended. Now, I just enjoy watching the deer roam throughout our yard looking for something to snack on. They must be thinking “Oh, Gardener!”

  14. My most memorable “Oh dear” moment involved a hungry bear and an ice chest. Sleeping soundly in a light weight pup tent in the highlands of Yosemite, I was awakened by the sound of heavy breathing about six inches from my face. Since there was no food, in my tent, apart from the flesh attached to my bones, the bear moved on and went straight to the pick-nick table where I had foolishly left my ice chest. I naively felt it was safe from wildlife as it was a solid steal Coleman with a latching lid and a twenty five pound block of ice inside. Peering out the front of my tent all hope of recovering my food and beverages were quickly dashed when the bear smacked my ice chest with her fore-paw and sent it flying fifteen feet like a child’s beach ball. For the next few minutes, which seemed like an hour, I sat motionless as she batted my ice chest around the camp until it finally popped open. Then I watched in stony silence as the contents of my battered ice chest were eagerly devoured. As I watched the thief fade into the treeline, I had mixed emotions. I was angry about the fact that I would go without breakfast this morning, but glad that breakfast was not me.

  15. My last “oh deer” moment was in the Allegheny County cemetery on Penn Ave. in Pittsburgh last week. It’s close to the building our daughter Kate and her husband Nik own (and where we stay when we’re in town). The deer wander through the graves as though they are sorry for humans. I don’t imagine that they are as aware of their own mortality. Millions of children around the world have mourned the loss of Bambi’s mother probably more than Bambi did. Or no?

  16. Every morning at sunrise I walk at the Illinois Beach State Park and are blessed to see deer pretty much every day. Lately there are a few who walk along with us at a distance. I have to distract my dog, Copper, with treats though or he squeals and goes crazy trying to chase them.

    • Bonnie — It’s a wonderful gift to be able to walk in a state part each morning. I’m glad that you and Copper get to enjoy it.

      Thank you for the beautiful card. I loved being caught up on you and yours 🙂

  17. I like how that bread truck moves Laurie! 😉 We have lots of does and fawns roaming the island right now. Yesterday on our walk, we came up surprisingly close to a doe eating peacefully along the side of the path. We stopped and sure enough there was her fawn bounding along on the opposite side. Like Willa, we stood very still and watched while mom and fawn got themselves collected and down over the bank. What we couldn’t easily give in physical space we gave in our stillness and all was well. We stuck our noses over the bank as we went by just to see. As we suspected both doe and fawn were stopped a few feet away looking back to see what we were doing making us laugh out loud with delight. They twitched their ears as if to say, curious creatures those humans!

    • Terrill — I love your respectful approach: “What we couldn’t easily give in physical space we gave in our stillness and all was well.”

      Humans? We are, indeed, curious creatures! 🙂

  18. Do dolphins count because I just missed them by a bottle nose. I was at my first watercolour lesson at the seaside resort of Aberporth last week and one of our group members said they ‘d been watching a group of dolphins play …just missed em sadly.
    I love to see Wila watching that deer …she’s s gentle …bless 🐾🐾🐾🐾

  19. Oh language…. 😀 Love the twists here, dear Laurie… According to your account “Oh deer” was quite literal 😉 Also phonetically speaking deer & dear sound the same way, so that adds a good point too. I like when that happens, although many times figurative language doesn´t have a “real” equivalent so to speak (as most times it is based on expression, proverbs, etc… which are mainly metaphoric, right!?). Sending love & best wishes! 🙂

  20. This morning I was on the phone to the surgeon’s office in Seattle. I am trying to get Medicare to cover a small surgery, which will probably help me be able to sing in the future and save my speaking voice. I was put on hold and was on speaker phone, the lovely wait music was lovely and ethereal – relaxing. Zip thought it was great too and be began singing his heart out to the music….Oh deer! I had to get him away from me and the music because I had been on hold for so long I did not want to miss the coordinator coming back on the line. So I enjoyed the music and Zip’s enjoyment also….I really needed to hustle and not miss the important information. Zip was not happy being shut out of the room, but he did stop singing and I could hear what I need to.

  21. What a lovely post – Willa is such a dear. Oh, dear, I didn’t even mean to pun. Deer are interesting creatures. I had a dream long ago (when I was in my early 20s) in which a deer came up to me to pet her, looked in my eyes, and communed with me telepathically. I’ve never forgotten this dream. About 2 1/2 years ago, when I still lived in CA, I returned home at dusk, got out of my car in the driveway, and saw deer just standing stock still about 4 feet from me. We both stayed like that – she and me, unmoving but searching each other’s eyes – for about 15 minutes. I wondered if she was my dream deer come to life for just a brief time.

  22. The last “oh deer” moment occured just yesterday when I got caught in gridlock traffic trying to get a parking space for our marathon session at Manhattan’s Quad Cinemas for a major retrospective. Gay Pride parade activities by then were well underway and I was temporarily thinking I’d never reached my destination. “Oh deer” and worse! Ha!

  23. We came within a second or so of hitting a deer a few weeks ago as we drove out of town in mid-morning. Deer are always a hazard when driving in Minnesota. Probably the same in Idaho.


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