A Dangerous Time of Year, If You’re a Deer

It’s a dangerous time of year for the confused deer who has taken to living with our goats.


Goats are not nocturnal. They forage for food during the day then bed down somewhere safe at night.

Deer, on the other hand, tend to stay bedded down in the woods during the day, then come out into the open to graze at night.

The deer has adopted our goats’ practices, which puts him at risk during hunting season. Even though he lives in the pasture, which is clearly posted, he’s got to be tempting to the hunters who roam up and down our road in their pickup trucks this time of year. It’s not the folks who live around here that I worry about–the deer is a local celebrity now and they know he’s not fair game. But unfortunately we have to put up with a lot of folks who only come out here during hunting season and who prefer to hunt from the road.


See him?


“Ain’t nobody here but us goats.”

We’re keeping an eye on him and of course I’m not going to tolerate anyone shooting into our pasture.



28 comments on “A Dangerous Time of Year, If You’re a Deer

  1. smcasson says:

    Mmm, wow, getting my blood pressure up just thinking about it.


  2. BeeHappee says:

    That is the sweetest story ever. Sometimes I wonder if his own family/clan was actually taken by hunters and he ended up with the goats and bonded. Or did he sneak in there for the food and then found some good one and stayed. It’s like trying to figure out if he is a war refugee or economic one. . . But his story makes me smile. Did you guys name him?


    • Bill says:

      Yeah, my guess is that his mother was killed and he just took up with the first friendly animals that came along. We don’t feed our goats, so there’s nothing in our pasture he couldn’t find elsewhere–other than goats. He doesn’t have an official name, but Cherie has started calling him Elmer.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. avwalters says:

    Maybe a bright orange collar or an orange vest like the dogs wear….


  4. We’ve got an arrangement with the State Police Game Warden, they can park in a driveway by the barn that is pretty much hidden from view and they can place decoys in our fields or forest. They’ve caught a few actually bow hunting, and the presence of the Game Warden parked at our barn has tempered the local poachers a bit. Bow hunters are worse here than rifle hunters. Last week we stopped some spotlighters late in the evening, they were getting ready to shoot the “deer” in the field, the “deer” were actually our Herefords..

    Your deer reminds me of Gobo in Bambi…he feels safe at your farm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was thinking as I was reading about your deer, Bill, that your goats were in just as much danger, and it sounds like maybe Matron’s experience bears that out. Hope all stay safe this season.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Joanna says:

      Goodness me what a nightmare. Glad you have some on the ball Game Warden’s around there. I just can’t imagine how stupid people must be to shoot into fields for hunting.

      Our hunters do hunt at night, but we know them and they are only on our land with permission. We even have an arrangement that they do not do any hunting with dogs so they don’t disturb our animals. Having said that, we did see some hunters by a road over the weekend a few miles away from our place, but since they had orange hats I am assuming they were there just in case animals got to close to the road during a drive hunt- at least I hope that is what they were there for.


    • Bill says:

      Our community tries every year to get more help from the game wardens but we’re in the largest county in Virginia and there are only 2 of them. So we’re usually on our own (although they did nab someone here a couple of years ago with the mechanical decoy). The worst for us are the dog hunters. Here it’s legal to pursue deer with dogs, so there are clubs that release packs of dogs, who of course don’t respect property lines, then they wait till the dogs chase the deer into the clear where they’ll blast away. It’s maddening. If they set dogs loose near us the dogs could chase this deer out of the pasture and off our land. That’s a real danger to him too.


  5. Norma Chang says:

    Cute deer story, what’s the name of your deer?


  6. Laurie Graves says:

    Oh, good luck, good luck to that deer! Do keep us posted.


    • Bill says:

      The season ends the first week of January. Hopefully he’ll stay safely in the fence till it’s over.


      • Laurie Graves says:

        That is one long season! In Maine, it ends the end of November. We do have musket season, and, I think, bow and arrow, but few hunters use these devices, and we can safely resume our walks in the woods. Again, good luck to the deer.


  7. gatheringplaceseasonfour says:

    peaceable: and the goat shall lie down with the deer (Isaiah)

    Liked by 1 person

  8. associatedluke says:

    I just love this continuing story!


  9. Katie Rosson says:

    Good for you guys for keeping the deer safe and posting signs. We have to be very selective with people wanting to hunt on my Dad’s land because we have had bad situations too. I hope that we don’t see a blog post about anything happening to the deer and I hope people will gain more respect for the land and animals!


  10. Deer season is over here, Bill. Now our does are mainly worried about the bucks who have love on their minds. The chase is quit humorous but I feel for the does. Bucks are so pesky. 🙂 –Curt


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