Bucky and the Amorous Stranger

I’m sorry to post the whole thing here, but I just know it will disappear from the original site someday soon, and I want to preserve it for my own memory of this wonderful moment from nature…

Bucky attacked: Deer lawn ornaments traumatized, but survive brutal nighttime ordeal
Thursday, November 17, 2005
By Phil Pfuehler, Editor, rfjsports AT rivertowns.net

“Bucky” lost his antlers in this unprovoked assault in the 100 block of South Pearl Street over the weekend. Police investigated but found no human link.
Betty Rustad rose early Sunday morning to let her little dog Pepe out to conduct his business.

She glanced at her yard at 102 S. Pearl St. and couldn’t believe it: Her 400-pound, solid concrete buck lawn ornament was toppled.

“Oh dear, I thought. Must have been kids coming up from the White Pathway and they somehow managed to tip it on its side,” Rustad said.

Like any good citizen, she called police to report the vandalism.

Patrol Officer Chuck Golden responded. The two inspected Rustad’s yard.

The fallen heavy buck ornament had its horns snapped and its stomach cracked.

The story gets more gruesome. A nearby concrete doe ornament – still somehow standing – had scratch marks on the tail and hind legs.

Evidence was soon found on the ground. The culprit was not a human vandal. Deep, fresh hoof prints were left by both ornaments.

“Officer Golden said, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but your cement buck got attacked by a real deer.’ Then, when we looked at the marks left on the back of the doe ornament and figured what happened, we just looked at each other and started laughing,” Rustad said.

Golden and Rustad surmised that a large buck roamed into the city late Saturday night or very early Sunday morning. An excerpt from Golden’s account is part of the official report:

“Upon further investigation I found where the deer came up from a wooded area near the residence. It was concluded by the homeowner and by me that a buck deer approached the area where the lawn ornaments were and engaged the ‘buck’ ornament in a fight, knocking it over?

“It is speculated that the buck then walked over to the ‘doe’ ornament and engaged it in some type of activity?Given that buck deer in this geographical area are in full rut at this time, I will leave to the imagination of the reader as to what ‘type of activity’ the buck deer may have been trying to engage the ‘doe’ ornament in.

“Digital photographs were taken of the incident and will be kept by this officer for a short period of time in the event that someone would not believe this story upon hearing it.”

Rustad said Golden told her the charging red-blooded buck must have suffered “one heck of a headache” after ramming her concrete Bucky.

Rustad said she’s lived at her house for 27 years and never seen a deer in her yard.

“I was out raking leaves Saturday afternoon and those deer ornaments were fine,” she said. “It must have happened during the night, but I didn’t hear a thing.”

Rustad bought the lawn ornaments eight years ago in Solon Springs near Duluth.

“I’m going to call to see if the buck can be cemented back together,” she said. “The doe will be OK. I’ll just paint her, touch her up.

“I’ll have them both out again. I sure hope they don’t get attacked, but what are the chances of that happening in the first place? One in a hundred? More that that, maybe?”

But for the rest of the deer-mating season, Rustad will be extra cautious before letting out her little Pepe – a 19-pound Lhasa-Apso.

“I don’t want anything to happen to him,” she said.

And Rustad has a plan of action for herself this month. She’s going deer hunting – outside the city limits, of course.

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