The first thing that I learned is that, while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope. That deer EXPLODED.
The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope and with some dignity. A deer? No chance.
That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close to it. As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had originally imagined. The only upside is that they do not have as much stamina as many other animals.
A brief 10 minutes later, it was tired and not nearly as quick to drag me over jagged rocks. It took me a few minutes to realize this, since the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head mostly blinded me.
At that point, I had lost my taste for corn-fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope. I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the time, there was no love at all between that deer and me. At that moment, I hated the thing, and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual.
Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in. I didn't want the deer to have to suffer a slow death, so I managed to get itlined back up in between my truck and the feeder (a little trap I had set before hand). I got it to back in there and I started moving up so I could get my rope back.
Did you know that deer bite? They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody, so I was very surprised when I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head like a pit bull. They bite HARD and it hurts.
The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried a different approach, screaming, shaking and wetting my pants instead. My method was ineffective.
It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds. I, being smarter than a deer (in theory), tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the tendons out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose. Sucker.
That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day. Deer will indeed strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp. I learned a long time ago that, when an animal (like a horse)strikes at you with their hooves and you can't get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape. This was not a horse, this was a deer, so obviously such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond, I devised a different strategy; I screamed like a woman and tried to turn and run. The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being twice as strong and 3 times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down.
Now, when a deer paws at you and knocks you down, it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down on you while you are lying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.
I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away. So now I know why when people go deer hunting they bring a rifle with a scope to sort of even the odds.
Have roped a few deer, buck and doe all wounded. The buck, whitetail a big one 300lbs live or close to it, was shot to pieces with 12ga hunting deep crust snow in Mt Laurel with buck shot. No more ammo. Had rope and he was down but alert. Took 18ft rope put a loop on pulled it thru made it ready. When that rope hit the horns it was all we could do to wrap other end around small Laurel before we got killed. Buck tangled to his neck where we could get the knife to him. They will open you up with a hoof in an instant. Comparing a wild animal to domestic ones is folly. No fences can keep a Bison in if he wants to go that way. 5 strand keeps about every cow or bull I come across in purty darn good.
You must've been in school for a loooong time. I'm sure the first time I read this was at least 15 years ago, maybe longer.
Fixed it for you.
Thanks for posting, you prompted me to pull some of my McManus books off the shelf and start reading them again.