Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Hooves beating leaves

While working at my desk yesterday, I heard the loud rustle of dead leaves outside my window and looked out into the woods to see the most amazing sight. Five bucks of varying sizes were wildly chasing a couple of does.

November is the deer rutting season, which lasts until the end of the month. It's also the hunting season, but the bucks become obsessed with the does to the point of obliviousness and don't know what else is lurking behind the trees. I called Larry and we went out onto the deck to watch. They chased the does back and forth, the bucks stopping occasionally to check each other out (the size of antlers being a factor) and run the younger males off the land.

At one point, one of the does ran towards our house, stopped by a thicket and lay down. She watched the bucks prancing back and forth, her head moving one way then the other as she kept them in her sights. It was fascinating to realize she was hiding from them deliberately. The bucks sniffed the air and drew nearer and nearer because she was giving off a scent that she was in season. (The bucks actually chase teh does until they are exhausted.)

Out of the blue came the largest buck I have ever seen. He was a five-pointer (five points in his antlers which means he was five years old). He sniffed the air and walked with absolute determination toward the hiding doe. She saw him coming, rose and bolted. He gave chase. The other bucks didn't challenge him, merely watched and then fell into line and followed him. Probably hoping to learn a trick or two for whenever their turn comes to rule the woods

1 comment:

t said...

On Monday I saw a herd? of mostly baby deer - fawn? - while driving in the Marin headlands a half-hour from my urban apartment life. It was such magic.