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by Justin Latimer

I hate deer. My hatred towards the seemingly gentile, majestic creatures that roam our rural lands abruptly went into full force two winters ago during my daily commute. It was February 2015 and an exceptionally wintery morning. As I sipped my coffee, listening to the morning news on the radio I began to squint through my windshield as the snowfall grew stronger. I was focusing on finding the winding road of Bakerstand. All of a sudden there he was. It was the world’s biggest buck with over 32 points. I don’t believe I am exaggerating, but I admit it was a tad difficult to see. So perhaps it was a 28 point. Anyway, “My God what a giant deer,” I thought. Unfortunately it was just too close to the front end of my Subaru to stop in time. WHACK! My coffee cup launched towards the windshield at the same moment the world’s largest buck hit my front end and rocketed up and over my car. I pulled the car over, got out and began cursing this giant buck to all ends. But he was gone. The world’s largest buck was equipped with some sort of super animal powers that protected him from any harm. This probably explains how he got to be so large. So there I was splattered in mocha java, coated in snow and my Subaru lay bleeding onto the road. I called my boss and explained that I was going to be late and began to walk home. “I really hate deer” I thought as the anxiety of missing work was sinking in.
The Subaru was a total loss, totaled and I had to purchase a new vehicle. From that day on my paranoia of these four legged beasts has remained constant.

Enter our friend Rover. A few months ago my wife had shown me a picture on Facebook. It was a photo of one her friends petting this docile, apparently tame and antlered young buck. I thought that it was strange and that it must be some ones pet that had wandered off. I had forgotten about the deer until recently when more local stories of this guy were spreading around town. This buck began showing up and posing for “selfies” all around the area.

One morning, I was facilitating a Safety Meeting when I saw him as he descended down the our T-Bar line at HoliMont. In the name of Safety I explained that we had to take a quick break and investigate this deer phenomenon further. As we walked outside the main ski patrol building we made eye contact with him and he began to gallop towards us. “Unbelievable,” yelled one of our mechanics. “Unreal!” I exclaimed. It was hard for us to process what was going on. This deer was acting like a giant puppy. Turns out he loves being pet and is very friendly. After a while, when it was time to get back to work, he actually followed one of our mechanics back into our main shop.

I still hate deer, but I really like this one we have named “Rover”. He is a very special deer and I felt obligated to write this article in hopes that we can spread the word so our avid hunting community may spare this one. Please shoot as many deer as you can, but just not Rover. He has found a place in our community and feel that he deserves to live this hunting season and many more.

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