Monday, January 26, 2009
My Once in a Lifetime Encounter with a Piebald Deer.
It was a beautiful winter day on December 1st in New York State!
It was opening day. I proceeded out of my door at 7:00am to my favorite hunting spot. It's a beautiful unexplored parcel of land attached to a very affluent farm in one of our NY counties. From what I understood, there hasn't been hunters allowed on the farm since the early 1900's. The previous owners of the farm had a very strict policy that continued through the generations into the new millennium. The words "NO HUNTING" are prominently displayed at the front entrance to the farm!
If you're a hunter, you know what it's like to find a good parcel of land. I love to hunt on private land, It seems to be a little bit quieter, safer and one of the roads less traveled. I'm sure it's apparent how much I love our forests, nature, water ways and wetlands. I was ecstatic!! I have been hunting all morning since first light. I saw several deer, but no shooters. I followed my usual routine. Upon exiting the woods to go to breakfast, I noticed a group of deer in the field next to the wood fence that separated the horses and the road. At first I was stunned by what I saw. One of the animals with the small group was a goat. I thought to myself, that's odd, I never saw goats & deer herding together before. Upon a closer look, I saw that it was not a goat. It was in fact a piebald deer.
I started to shake like I had buck fever on my first day hunting again as an adolescent. I placed my weapon on the floor & hurried backwards to my vehicle to retrieve my camera. I had to get pictures of this, I thought to myself. If I tell anyone, they wouldn't believe me. I finally got my truck opened, fumbled through my bag, grabbed my camera & headed back to where I saw the deer previously. They were no longer there. I let out a loud sigh. It figures, I said aloud.
I picked up my weapon & proceeded to walk towards the area where they were standing. All of a sudden, I see movement in the tree line. First the mother stepped out & checked me out, then the other offspring. Finally the white deer stepped out. It was a white button buck with a black head. The feeling that came over me was magical. He raised his nose into the air to get a whiff of my scent like a classic buck in training. I turned on my Kodak digital camera, raised it and took these pictures for the hunting, wildlife & outdoor enthusiasts of the world to see. From what I understand from the locals, nobody else has seen it. I was even called a liar unless I divulged its whereabouts.
I almost fell for it. I truly had no desire whatsoever to shoot this animal, and I damn sure wasn't going to lead another hunter to his safe haven. I just smiled & walked away exclaiming "just kidding". A chill arose up and down my spine and made me shake during the experience. I thought to myself, I'm sure there are other hunters out there who will not feel the same when coming face to face with one of these rare species. Therefore, I will protect its exact location with my life. If this one has the gene, I'm sure more will follow when it starts to procreate. As they scurried off into the thicket, I could only fantasize about meeting him again some day when he grows to be a majestic 8 - 10 or 12 point buck.
I am confident that I will feel the same way I felt when I had first glanced upon his magical technicolor dreamcoat. I felt truly blessed to see this animal. I have named him appropriately. He is called Oreo. How do I know he won't roam off onto someone else's property & meet a horrible death? I just have that feeling. He felt safe on the land. He trusted me. His mother knows the terrain. She has eluded me for years, she will not lead him astray. There are also a few other things that give me the confidence in knowing he will survive till adulthood. One is, I am the Steward of this land! Two, we will always be friends and never enemies, and number three. It's the sign above the opening on the entrance of the farm somewhere in New York State. It explicitly says, " NO HUNTING! " ,... We will meet again Oreo.
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