Deer Season

We left Maine a couple of days after deer hunting season opened and headed back to our hometown to celebrate the bar mitzva of our oldest grandson.  At dusk I was reading in the den when I heard what sounded like large pieces of plastic broomstick handles clicking against each other.  I looked out the window but couldn’t see anything, so I ventured outside.  Just outside our chain link fence were two bucks in rut, clashing with their antlers!  I ran to get my camera.  The bucks were oblivious to my presence, and were focused exclusively on one another.  Their antlers actually locked at one point but fortunately they were able to separate.  I was standing no more than 3 feet away, on the other side of the chain link fence.  A few times they actually lost their balance and fell against the fence where I was standing, so I stood back a little further!  Eventually one must have overpowered the other because they went their separate ways once they figured out who was boss.  It was only when I looked at the resulting photos up close that I noticed that the tip of the antler of the deer on the left was bloodied, and the deer on the right had some small wounds near his shoulder and ear.  The irony was not lost on me that I was not witnessing this show in Maine, but right in a major east coast city neighborhood in the mid-Atlantic!  Our hometown backyard in the city is visited by a herd of about 20 deer (Bambi fawns included) on a daily basis.  If not for our chain link fence, the garden would be stripped bare.   In Maine, I do see deer sign (pellets, scrapings, and tracks) on a frequent basis, but I don’t actually see more than one deer a month.  So far in Maine, the deer have left our apple saplings alone, despite the lack of a deer-proof fence.

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Two bucks locking antlers 3 feet from where I’m standing, on the other side of a chain link fence in our backyard.  The tip of the left antler of the deer on the left is tinged with blood from this battle.

Two bucks locking antlers 3 feet from where I'm standing, on the other side of a chain link fence in our backyard

The base of the right antler of the deer on the left is bloodied. I’m unsure if his right antler is puncturing the shoulder of the buck on the right, or if the point of the antler broke off upon impact.

I may be imagining this, but it looks like the winning buck has a smile on his face

I may be imagining this, but it looks like the winning buck has a smile on his face

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