Why We Shoot Deer In The Wild (As Opposed to Roping)

Why we shoot deer in the wild: (A letter from someone who wants to remain anonymous, who farms, writes well, and actually tried this)
         I had this idea that I could rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it.  The first step in this adventure was getting a deer.  I figured that, since they congregate at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away), it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.
        I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, having seen the roping thing before, stayed well back.  They were not having any of it.  After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up — 3 of them.  I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, and threw my rope.  The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold.
       The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it, it took a step away.  I put a little tension on the rope, and then received an education.  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 jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up.  It took me a few minutes to realize this, since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head. 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 me and that deer.  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 it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder – a little trap I had set before hand…kind of like a squeeze chute.  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 slide off to then let go.  A deer bites you and shakes its head–almost 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 screaming and shaking 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 (though you may be questioning that claim by now), 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.
    That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.
     Deer will 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 laying 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!!
    All these events are true so help me God… An Educated Farmer.

36 Replies to “Why We Shoot Deer In The Wild (As Opposed to Roping)”

  1. Woah! That deer really interfered with your schedule. Hope you are okay. Im sure it hurts to laugh,but some good movies to watch while youre recovering – Are We There Yet & Tommy Boy.

  2. I bet you can now say, “Tranquilizer darts”. It was a good idea, I actually was thinking Of doing that same thing. I am really glad I read this first, or I would be in the club. I think I will look into tranquilizer darts, since the corn fed venison still sounds delicious.

  3. at was sum fast ed-ma-cation for sure!!lesson learnt but was a funny story just glad your ok
    my hubby went raccoon hunting in their trees was funny seeing them coons looking at him in the tree.. hes lucky they didn’t jump on him..you Texas boys are 1 in a million for sure..

  4. I learned a similar lesson when I was over served at a SWTSC (now Texas State University) Rodeo Club party in college. I was challenged to rope one and bring it back to the party. So my brother and I, known for our deer-killin’ prowess, accepted the drunken challenge. Finding an ol’ doe running along a tall fence near Wimberly, we jumped the ditch in an’ old pickup, sorta’ pinned her between the fence and truck, and I baled off on her. I was armed only with a Philips screwdriver with a 4-inch shaft. I was able to load the doe into the bed of the truck, but only after I lost most of my clothes, I got stitches after I sobered up and realized my leg wouldn’t stop bleeding until I got the wound closed up. So, my brother got some fishing line, a needle, and more beer in me. Yep, the scar IS UGLY but the deer was good.

  5. Wow. I grew up on a farm back in the days when seeing a deer was a rare sight. The few deer that you did see were wilder than hell. I was always cautioned to stay away from them. When I hunted them and actually downed one, out of habit I always re-loaded my rifle and approached it carefully. To make sure it was dead I’d take the barrel of my rifle and make the end of it touch the deers eye. If there was any life in it it would not allow me to do that. I never had a deer get up and run off after I had downed it.
    I’ll be honest here. When I first read your story I could not imagine someone who lived out in the country doing what you tried to do. Then I realized it was a generational difference. You have grown up in an era where there is plenty of deer. You see them often and they are used to seeing you. As tame as they appear to be now, a person in this day and age would think that roping one would be no problem.
    Back when I was a teen if you saw a deer anytime of the year it was running away from you. You could not feed them because they would smell your scent and avoid the food. I had no problem believing that one would gore you if you gave them the chance. Harvesting a deer back in my time was a combination of LOTS of luck and skill. I’ll never forget how excited I was when I finally got my first one and proud that it only took one shot.

    1. If this story is actually true, I’m surprised the hospital didn’t call the authorities to have you indicted for attempting to take a deer with an unapproved method. In other words , it’s against the law to harvest a deer with anything other than a rifle or shotgun. As far as not knowing how dangerous a deer ( wild animal ) can be, I hope you have been fixed so you don’t pass your Stupid Genes on to the next generation.

      1. I HOPE THAT U CAN GET OFF UR HIGH HORSE SO U CAN GO STRAIGHT TO HELL!!! geez what kind of tight ass yank are you?

  6. I can, from experience, understand the drunken attempt at hog tying a deer. I can also understand the child-like thought of corn raise venison.
    I also, without much raised eyebrow, cannot understand a full growed man with any horsesense atttempting to calf roped a deer and expect a calf rope experience to result.
    I found the report to be very funny—informative—well let’s just say—when Bubba tells you to hold his beer and watch this—-do it from a distandce–preferrable with a locked door between you and bubba—while being on the cell phone too 911 for help.

  7. I enjoyed the tale very much and hope you have fully recovered. This is one of those experiences that make for good story telling after all the wounds have healed.

  8. thanks for the very good laugh and reasoning! I was part of a team of “wildlife rehabilitators” and when fawns were nursing and momma (sometimes them too) got hit by cars we bottle fed them and one time one in my “charge” jumped the dutch domer in the stall in the barn. being that it was still bottle fed, had to go fetch it, and fetch it I did, and picked it up and carried it back to “3 hots and a cot” in what I sense is a deers version of “jail”…..I still have scars on my arms where its little tiny hooves scratched the hell outta me worse then a “woman scorned!”

  9. That was a great story of how not to catch a deer! It was hilarious and I can’t wait to share it with my family when they get home! Glad you are okay.

  10. My GrandDad once roped a whitetail buck while on horseback. In hindsight he considered it a great mistake and was amazed how quickly he was able to cut his rope while riding trying to control the bucking horse with an exploding buck at the end of his rope. Must have been quite a sight!

  11. I Feel For the Guy. I really do, But I could NOT help myself but to Laugh so Loud, Long almost PMP at this Story. As He speaks, I can see it all Happening!!! God I am Glad I am a Native Texan!!!

  12. There was a family in a small town in southeast Texas I knew who provided bulls for the rodeo.
    Tough boys all of them. They had to have good cow ponies. Well one day their dad was riding the fence line and caught a buck mid field. He took out after it, laid a loop over the horns and just like he would a cow; he stopped that pony. That deer hit the end of the rope and looked like the dog at the end of the rope line that Foghorn used to tease on the buggs bunny catroons. He was on the dinner table that night. The stop broke its neck!

  13. Very funny!! I used to think deer were too timid to worry about until I got chased into my car by a 4-point buck I was taking a picture of. I got the impression rather quickly that he either didn’t want his pic taken or wanted to see how I looked hanging on his horns. You say they bit….they BARK too!

  14. Sounds like the nite we were riding thru Central Texas and saw a horned owl get hit by a truck. Being that we were broke and just ridding around, (there were 2 couples in the truck), we stopped to look at it. We couldn’t find blood or broke bones so one occupant of the truck decided to go have it “mounted” for his grandfather’s new home. It was put in a toe sack. Somewhere around a case of beer or solater the horned owl woke up…. did you know they can split a toe sack like it is tissue paper? There were 4 adults and a full sized horned owl trying to get out of that truck at the same time, don’t think the truck ever slowed down ’til the owl flew away! Some of us live and learn….

  15. This was the funniest story I’ve heard in quite awhile. I’m glad you survived but so grateful you had this lesson to pass on…..Thanks so much for the laugh.

    1. Man this was almost as good as the lawn mower VS the electric fence story. Both brought tears to my eyes. This will be a great story to tell you grandchildren at thanksgiving dinner…

  16. Great story and totally believable! It reminds me of the time my godfather roped a black bear while on horseback When he came to he was 10 miles from home. No horse no bear and no rope. Just him a saddle with a broken cinch and a long walk ahead of him. Why did he rope a bear? ” cause I never had done it before”

  17. Pingback: roping a deer
  18. With how well written this story was, I would suggest the farmer and would-be deer wrangler quit his present day job and try writing for a change. Humor would be the topic of choice. This was a great story, and a very humorous one as well

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *