Come to Mama
Off the Wall, Oct 9, 2009

I don’t know many people who don’t have something of which they prize. Some of these things have become items of status symbols, including cars, coins or artwork.

But what I’m going to talk about today is of different “nature.” It has to do with status symbols of deer. Now, I can just hear someone thinking to himself, “Paul…, what is this doing in the “Off the Wall” column and not the “Inside the Outdoors.” Simple. After reading a wonderfully written article in the 2009-2010 PA Hunting and Trapping Digest by Game Commission’s Wildlife Biologist Jeannine Tardiff Fleegle, in a story titled “Where Do Baby Deer Come From,” I thought I’d throw my twist into a story, using some of the facts taken from her story which was very informative. What one is about to read will be presented from a different perspective - mine.

I decided to interview a buck and get its comeback on a number of issues including the stresses and some the highs and lows it experiences between spring and fall. Here goes.

“Hi there, I’m Delbert. I was chosen by Paul to tell my story,” he started to explain. “As a buck, I get very stressed out this time of year.” Continuing on, he related, “In spring I have to grow antlers or the girls won’t find me attractive. They don’t see me for what I am. All they are impressed with are the horns on my head. What a bummer,” Delbert said. “I have a wonderful body. I eat well. I think I am very masculine in appearance, and those does are attracted to my antlers? Go figure.”

“Now, Paul, I have to also point out, the horns I carry around on my head aren’t just to attract the females, but we also use them to communicate to both bucks and does. I make noise by rubbing my antlers trees. We also use them to spar with the competition. What do you think of that – special, huh?”

“O.K., Delbert,” I decided to question it, “When do you meet your counterpart for the long awaited ‘coming together act’ you prepared for back in the spring?” “In November,” he told me. “The first two weeks of the month, does are pursuing me. Hey, it was nice to think back in the spring that I may find my woman, but when the first couple of weeks of the month roll around, there are literally thousands of girls looking to mate, possibly one with me. That certainly ups the spirits of any guy. They only have 48 hours to find their man, so stress enters their life, too,” he divulged. “In the quiet of the forest during that time period, when the breeze is gently making its way through the treetops, keeping our ears in tune, we bucks just may hear the words, ‘Come to mama,’” he asserted.

“I’ve seen many of my brothers and sisters scurrying about in a helter-skelter manner during these two days. It’s a crying shame, because some of them aren’t careful and run out on the roadways and get hit by vehicles and are killed. But you know, Paul,” he declared, “I may not come in contact with the girl of my dreams. She may be in one place, and I am here looking for her, and we may never meet in that short order of time. Talk about being stressed out. And you think, at times, you’ve got it bad. We also face disappointments,” Delbert said.

“And you know something else, Paul?” “What’s that,” I asked. “After all my pursuits, and trying to find my woman, I loose 25% of my body weight. Can you get a load of that?” he blurted out. Now, I guess I’m going to have to start eating more to build myself back up. Oh, and by the way, that beauty of a rack I had? I’ll be losing it soon,” he told me. “Dear me, this is the third year I have to grow a new one, that is if a hunter doesn’t get me first. Oh my, just another stress factor.” Delbert emphasized, “If God blesses me by avoiding hunters, maybe I will find my girl next fall and we will then have kids next spring. I certainly am looking forward to having a family! I bet you have seen fawn running around in the open fields playing amongst themselves, having a good ol’ time. That makes us parents mighty happy to bring into this world children that will grow up and enjoy everything that God has given us. He has blessed us in many ways and we know we can count on Him for our many needs in the future,” he concluded.

(My thanks to Ms. Tardiff Fleegle and her contribution to the Digest.)

- Paul J. Volkmann
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