The Fearless Deer of Pokagon | HumorOutcasts

The Fearless Deer of Pokagon

October 1, 2017
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Deer are so common in Indiana that sometimes we forget they were once wiped out in the state. Now they’re back, wiping out cars instead, so you really don’t have to try to hard to see some. Still, seeing them up close doesn’t happen too often, unless it’s in that instant when you stand on your brake and yell, “Oh, crap”. (Maybe “crap” isn’t the most common word.)

Earlier this year I was hiking on trail 9 at Indiana’s Pokagon State Park. Trail 9 is the one marked “rugged” … which is a relative thing, as I’ve been on more rugged trails in other parks, but it’s still a bit of a challenge. I was on a ridge, wishing for an excuse to stop and catch my breath, when I saw two deer standing on the next ridge over.

Sadly I didn’t have my camera with me, but I did have my cell phone in case I needed to call in an ambulance to haul me out of there. It turns out those things have cameras on them. Who knew? So I stood there as still as I could, zoomed all the way in, and tried to get a decent photo of them before they ran off, which one soon did.

Then a strange thing happened.

The second one decided if I was checking her out, it was only fair that she check me out. So she got closer …

And closer ….

And we ended up in a staring contest, only about 25-30 feet from each other.

Hoping to seem less threatening, I tried to crouch down. It was probably all the creaking bones and cracking joints that scared her off, and last time I saw her, she was standing with the other one on the same ridge where they started.

You can see deer close up at various places, but there’s something about standing in the open and going nose to nose with an animal just as curious about me as I was about it. It was, in other words, very cool. As long as they’re not angry.

Mark R Hunter

Mark R Hunter is the author of three romantic comedies: Radio Red, Storm Chaser, and its sequel, The Notorious Ian Grant, as well as a related story collection, Storm Chaser Shorts. He also wrote a young adult adventure, The No-Campfire Girls, and a humor collection, Slightly Off the Mark. In addition, he collaborated with his wife, Emily, on the history books Images of America: Albion and Noble County, Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or So With The Albion Fire Department, and Hoosier Hysterical. Mark’s work also appeared in the anthologies My Funny Valentine and Strange Portals: Ink Slingers’ Fantasy/Horror Anthology. For two decades Mark R Hunter has been an emergency dispatcher for the Noble County Sheriff Department. He’s served over 32 years as a volunteer for the Albion Fire Department, holding such positions as safety officer, training officer, secretary, and public information officer. He also has done public relations writing for the Noble County Relay For Life, among other organizations, and served two terms on the Albion Town Council. When asked if he has any free time, he laughs hysterically. Mark lives in Albion, Indiana, with his wife and editor Emily, a cowardly ball python named Lucius, and a loving, scary dog named Beowulf. He has two daughters and twin grandsons, and so naturally is considering writing a children’s book.

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2 Responses to The Fearless Deer of Pokagon

  1. October 1, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    Cool experience, Mark. I have that experience in my own backyard, here in upstate New York. It loses it’s appeal when I run out screaming to them to “drop the hosta”and they ignore me.

    • October 3, 2017 at 2:08 am

      Yeah, the ones who come into back yards around here are always looking for a snack, and it isn’t unwanted weeds, either.



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