This deer knows how to survive!
Lately we've been having deer coming down our lane and into our yard, poking around for something to eat...I imagine some of them are starving at this point. So I wasn't surprised to see a lone deer loping down our lane and up to our barn/horse pasture. I just commented "stupid deer" to my husband. A few seconds later, though, I WAS surprised to see a very fuzzy coyote running after it! And a few minutes later, I saw - presumably - the same coyote running in the same direction again, as if it had just run in a circle!
This needed investigation. So out I went to the horse pasture, where I could see the horses cleaning up their hay, and no coyote. I got closer and saw a deer looking at me from between the horses! She looked somewhat alarmed, every time one of the horses shifted, up her poofy tail went and she nervously looked from one horse to the other. Suddenly she boing-ed her way over the barb wire fence and was standing less than 6 ft away! She didn't look mangy, so I have NO idea why she had pretty much no fear of me. She figured I was less scary than the big horses. She was a little thing, born this past year for sure. She hardly even noticed me, except when I talked to her. Up went her tail, and she moved her head from side to side(ha, just like the cows at the farm do!) trying to figure out what I was. Then her tail went down again and she went back to watching the horses. After a few minutes, she hopped back into the horse pasture and ran 30 ft away and started sniffing around for something to eat.
Now, I don't want any deer hanging around our yard or thinking it is a safe place to hide, so I marched in there and chased it out; it just made a loop and went back to the horse barn. I'm not even sure it would have ran away from me until I pretty much touched it, but the horses were following me around the pasture, and I think she was afraid of them(my one old gelding, Chester, is typically pretty darn territorial about visitors, so I don't blame it!) So I went back into the house to get the pellet gun to give it a good scare. I probably sound mean, but I'm not going to feed it or protect it. Hasn't it seen The Lion King? This is the circle of life, baby. Survive or die. Anyway, when I came back out of the house with the pellet gun, it was gone.
I went back in and was talking about this bizarre event with my hubby, and we came to the amusing conclusion that the deer was separated from the herd(we have 10-20 animal herds all over the place around here this time of year, there would be around a couple hundred if you counted all the animals in a 5 mile square area.), got chased by a coyote, and - lacking a better plan - jumped in with the horses as a new "herd". The hilarious part? It worked. The coyote wasn't going to take the horses on, so it ran around in a circle hoping the deer would come out and be his supper. No dice, so he takes off. The deer decides, "hey guys, thanks for hiding me, but you're kind of big and scary and...I think I'll go find my buddies now. Catch ya later."
It's funny how they can be dumb as stumps, but their instinct does them right some of the time! I can't say anything like that has happened before..typically deer around this area run as soon as they see or hear people! Probably didn't know any better without older animals to tell by example to run.