My BULLISH Deer Snowshoe Adventure

I love snowshoeing and in my journeys have seen a bear, a fisher, coyotes and lots of deer but yesterday I had an adventure of a different sort.

While journeying on snowshoes through the countryside I have seen lots of deer but never really up close but have heard that you can get very near them while on farm equipment. Our neighbours have told us this winter, with the deep snow and not much food for the deer, they have seen quite a few eating the hay that is put out for the cattle. Since when they’re away my husband occasionally takes our neighbours’ tractor and feeds his large herd of cattle, yesterday I decided to take my snowshoes and ride with him down to the clearing in the cedars where they feed them and go on snowshoes in the woods from there. Alas, there were no deer to be found so I took my snowshoes and sat on a bale of hay and put them on.

They have a beautiful woods so I decided to head down towards the ridge when I spotted a carcass and thinking maybe a calf had been killed, I walked over to inspect and there was a recent killing of a large deer, neatly skinned and all that remained was the intact head, legs and framework of the deer. As I was standing there looking at the coyote tracks I noticed the usually quiet bull followed by some cows, heading my way, when he started roaring and running towards me I knew I’d better make tracks and get over the nearby line fence. When I scrambled over that fence I was mighty thankful I had my lightweight snowshoes on and not my clumsy cross-country skiis. The smell of the blood from the kill must’ve angered him because when I left he stopped and was sniffing at the carcass.

I had a nice snowshoe run on our property and luckily saw three deer in the woods, then circled back to the killing. The bull and cows ran off when they saw me coming so I took the above gruesome picture, but nature is wonderful and we shouldn’t mind giving the coyotes a venison meal now and then.

I decided to try to see the deer and repeated the trip with my husband this morning, carefully keeping away from the bull. We saw at least 20 deer from the tractor eating hay at the edge of the woods and while I snowshoed back past them they would stand and stare for a moment trying to figure out what I was and then bound away into the nearby woods.

So I was well repaid for my scare from the day before and remembered that I been told to never trust the domestic bull as they harm more people than any other animal and yesterdays experience proved that circumstances can alter a normally docile animal very quickly.

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Rosemary Spafford