There’s just enough of a drizzle to call it rain as I park the big blue truck in the middle of the quiet country lane. I saw a small group of deer on the edge of the forest about a half of a mile back as they bounded into the bushes. I can’t really blame them for being nervous about the approaching human. It’s only been a week since the close of gun season. Even though I’m in a state park with no hunting it’s bordered by private land and the deer will range both properties. I did however suppose that if I could get in the park zone that they might be a little more at ease. I was only a a couple of hundred yards inside the entrance when I spotted him in tawwhe distance. He’s young but he is a buck. Typically, the bucks will stay off to themselves and the does will stay with the herd. His first set of buttons may not have even broken through his scalp this year. He paid little attention the truck as I eased closer. Deer see moving vehicles as just another herd animal. If you’re not moving too fast it will keep track of where you are and what you’re doing but otherwise not consider you a threat. I drifted in a little closer as the buck continued to feed on the lichens and grasses under the trees. Occasionally he would put a tree between us as if it was hiding him. Then he would get curious about the truck and work his way closer again. I almost felt like he was playing a game with me. I had to wonder if he was coming in close and then jumping back to see if the truck was going to chase him. Finally he couldn’t take it anymore and decided that his best option was to make a break for the denser woods on the opposite side of the road. He crossed both lanes in a single leap and was gone.
He’s the young bashful prince of these woods today but in a few short seasons he’s going to be a huge dominant buck and the king of the park.
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