A lot of you seem interested in tales from the wilds. So, okay.
Around here, one of the big deals that we've been worrying over is deer. Or rather, hitting deer with the vehicles. I was never really anti-hunting. I'm ant-waste, but if you wanna EAT the non-endangered critter you hunt, knock yourselves out. Well, here in western PA, they don't hunt NEARLY enough, because in the late fall and early winter, we are ass deep in freaking deer. They're rated "Least Concern" by the environmentalists, along with rats and pigeons. We should round up all the damn things and make them into sausage. Okay, I'm flexible. Sausage AND jerky.
For those of you overseas, I'm talking about these bastards:
(From Wikipedia Commons, of course.) Technically these are known as white-tailed deer, but around here it's more like 'those fucking deer'. I grew up thinking that male deer (bucks) put on a 'point' or prong on each antler for each year they're alive. Luckily for me I just did a bit of fact-checking, and it turns out that the point count has more to do with diet, though genetics of course play a role. Apparently you can find eight-point bucks (namely, FUCKING HUGE DEER WITH BIG RACKS OF ANTLERS) not quite two years old. This explains a lot; we practically trip over four point bucks around here, all the time. We've also got does here bigger than bucks I've seen other places, and I'm not talking small mutant key deer or anything. We just grow enormous deer.
I'd have thought the deer would do better west of here, where I grew up. After all, I grew up in farmland, and farmland means grain crops, and grain crops mean good eating for deer. But it also means less camouflage and habitat, I guess. Here in PA, because it is so hilly and mountainous, it is also really wooded. Woodland means lots of seeds (especially acorns) to eat, as well as plenty of space to roam around and hide in, so we've got more deer here. I've seen more deer since we moved here in July than I think I saw the entire time I grew up in Ohio. And it's not like I didn't see deer THERE.
At any rate, they're a big deal when they weigh 300 pounds and you run into them with your car. Particularly when they like to come out at night and they're dumb as hell. Most self respecting animals will run AWAY from cars, or at least try to get out of their way. Not deer. They'll stand in the middle of the road going "whaaaaaat?" until you hit them. Or stand at the side of the road until you get close and THEN step in front of you.
It's an adventure.
We live in a series of state routes running along ridges, and to get to other state routes, you cut through valleys full of woods on small, twisty roads. So to cut over to the route north of us, you have two choices: Take the small twisty road that cuts through golf courses and fields full of deer, or take the decently paved road past the local dump full of food that is teeming with deer.
One night I had to run into town for some appointments, so I took the better-paved of the two choices, thinking it would be safer. HA. Coming down a hill, I saw headlights swerving around in all directions, so I slowed down. Good thing I did. At the bottom of the hill, a really big doe was standing at the side of the road, her feet on the white line, looking around like a dumbass, while everyone slammed on the breaks, afraid she'd jump in front of them.
One AFTERNOON the hub and I were coming back from somewhere in broad daylight, came around a corner, and the husbeast said "hey, did you see that deer?" He only ever saw the doe near the road, because he was busy driving. I was busy gaping at the six or eight point monster buck behind her. When we were house shopping in this area we had to stop to let a herd of six or eight deer get out of the way; they were roaming around someone's neighborhood. I can count on one hand the deer I've seen in broad daylight, other places. Here? Happens all the time. And there are even more of them running around at night.
So far, the husbeast says the closest he's come to hitting a deer has been in the driveway. He drives around a lot more at night, so he's got a lot more amusing tales to tell.
Anyone know if it's legal to punch a deer in this state?