Sunday, November 22, 2009

Through the Glass

"I got a buck today!"

My friend Brenda called me moments ago to tell me she'd bagged a buck - sort of. My first thought was she'd hit one with her car, but she said that wasn't it.

Turns out a little button buck ran through one of the buildings she owns and rents out in downtown Roanoke. The building is located on Brambleton near Towers Shopping Center.

This is the kind of story newspapers and TV stations love, but according to my friend nary a journalist was in sight as a steady stream of police and animal control officers waded into the fray in an effort to calm the frightened animal.

It took three tranquilizer darts to put the deer down, Brenda said.

On November 7, a similar incident took place on Campbell Avenue. Here's a report on it from the newspaper.

An incredulous as this sounds, it is an expensive incident for the building owners when these things happen. Replacing windows is not a small thing, and there is likely blood and animal feces and urine to clear up, too. And the building owners don't even get to eat the meat!

This is the time of year when the bucks are in rut - they've only one thing on their minds and it isn't watching where they are going. They are so busy chasing does and their hormones are so out of control its a wonder there aren't more reports of this kind of thing.

This is what happens when humans and animals don't learn to live well together. The deer population is a bit high because we have removed their natural predators, most notably wolves. There aren't too many of those running around the Roanoke Valley.

That leaves humans as the only natural predator for the deer, and unless they are hunted then the herd numbers grow.

Animal lovers think this is a good thing, but a herd that is too large ends up being a poor herd. The deer inbreed and the animal population ends up with pie bald or albino deer. Or they don't have enough to eat and they become sick from malnutrition. I don't think it is any better to watch a deer starve than it is to kill it and eat it, myself.

I do not hunt and I don't eat the deer meat my husband brings home but I see the need for the activity.

Poor Brenda, I feel bad for her. This was a bit of bad luck that no one deserves!


  1. I wish they would let them hunt more than they already do. Such a massive amount of dead dear (road kill) this year. Dangerous to us as well as the deer.

    The Blue Ridge Gal
    Just Vignettes

  2. We have so many deer around here that it's a hazard driving at night. So far I've only hit 1. I don't think there is a lot of hunting since the area is quite populated by humans.
    My dad has been a deer hunter for many years. I couldn't do it myself but I understand the need for controlling the population. My wish is for the hunters to abide by the hunting and reporting rules.

  3. Locally we've had quite a few incidents of deer going into buildings. As areas become more populated, the dangers of deer to drivers as well as property owners increases. The deer seem to find refuge near homes where hunters are unable to shoot them. No one in my family has ever hunted and we do not allow hunting on our land. However, I do realize that there is a need to thin the population.

  4. I'm not a hunter either (I don't even like guns) but I do know a lot of people who depend on venison for their winter protein supply and others that hunt, then donate the meat to help feed the poor. And I've also known plenty of people who narrowly escaped injury when they hit a deer with their cars. So I definitely see the need for thinning the herds. So sorry about your friend's bad luck...

  5. I'm sorry to hear of your friend's misfortune - but the one small consolation is that she wasn't injured.

    I'm in agreement with you on the need for greater numbers of hunters/hunting permits - but honestly, if the sportsmen's lobby were really all that interested in herd size control, don't you think that they would push for a larger doe cull? As brutal and inhumane as it sounds, it seems to make sense to me...

  6. Oh Anita, I agree with you. I wish these activist groups would leave the animals alone - I've seen more dead deer on the side of the road this past week. It's so sad. I know they're trying to do good, but they need to let them be. I'm sorry for your friend, that must have been wild.

  7. I know what you mean. A buck ran into my truck one time and caused a lot of damage. And I'm terrified driving now. So I do know what you mean. But I have to say, I've never seen a skinny deer. I don't think they're starving. There ARE starving people though. Wish those hunters who left the pile of dead deer to rot in the woods that I saw would have given them to some hungry people at least.

  8. That's interesting. I knew they could get over-populated but didn't know the facts so I always feel sorry for them when someone kills one.


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