What is it About a Deer Sighting?

My husband and I are both trying to lose weight and get healthier, and so we have been walking more.  And that has been difficult (for me anyway) as it has been terribly hot and humid in this part of the southeast this summer.  We have had almost 6 straight weeks of temperatures in the 90s with many days reaching 100 degrees and over and heat indexes of 105-110.  I am a fall/winter person and I am the first to admit that I don’t do well in heat and humidity.  I loathe it.  But this Labor Day weekend has found us having some beautiful, cooler and most importantly, non-humid weather.  And I am loving it.      

  So yesterday the hubby and I decided to go take our walk in a local park.  It is a beautiful park with a paved walkway that winds through the woods and loops around a picturesque little lake.  No motor boats are allowed on this lake, but people are often seen on the lake canoeing and kayaking and fishing.   I love this park because I always see wildlife of some kind when I am there.  Whether it be white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, or turtles basking in the sun, I never leave there without having spotted wildlife of some kind.       


  When our boys were younger, our family always tried to take a yearly trip to The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  Definitely, one of my favorite places to visit, especially in the fall.  We would usually go with my in-laws in their van.   My in-laws are amazing people and fun to be around and yes, lots of our trips have been taken together with them.  They are wonderful grandparents to our boys and as a family we cherish the memories we have made over the years.  My mother-in-law absolutely adores going to Cades Cove when we go to the Smokies.  For us, a trip to the Smoky montains = a drive through Cades Cove.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, Cades Coves is the most popular tourist destination in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  It is a gorgeous, awe-inspiring valley which was home to numerous settlers before the establishment of the National Park.  The cove is surrounded by the breath-taking Great Smoky Mountains.  You will see primitive churches, early pioneer farms, homestead barns, fields, roads, and multiple hiking trails.  But I think most people go to Cades Cove because there is always abundant wildlife to see.  At Cades Cove, there is an 11 mile long narrow loop you can drive along in your car.  You can always tell when someone has spotted wildlife as the traffic comes to a dead stop and people will be either hanging out their car windows with their cameras or standing outside their cars taking pictures.  Each time we drive the Cades Cove loop, I can’t help but get tickled and amused at how people act at just the sighting of a deer.  I mean, it’s not as if they are exactly rare in this part of the country.  But it happens every time.  Traffic can get tied up for hours on the Cades Cove loop while people go to great lengths to get that perfect picture of that remote deer.  While I find myself quite amused at these people, I always get caught up in the excitement too.  I must have 5,000 pictures of white-tailed deer at Caves Cove.  

an older pic of our family in Cades Cove- taken ~1998


Yesterday, when my husband and I were walking the trail in the park, we noticed that this trail was full of hikers such as ourselves, and families of children, all who were like my husband and me who were out to celebrate this magnificent non-humid day of glorious sunny weather.  We told each other we were surely not going to see much wildlife, especially our beloved white-tailed deer, with this many people out and about.  No sooner had that come out of our mouths, when we saw a couple ahead of us, standing ever so still with their cameras poised.  Then we saw the scene they had come upon.  A doe with her triplet fawns.  Yes, three sweet little spotted babies!  They were pretty close to the trail, so out my camera came and I started shooting away, as did everyone else who came before and after us.   Before our walk was over, we saw probably 8-10 deer, all does and fawns, and I had a few dozen more pics of white-tailed deer to add to my collection.   I laughed as we walked away, looked at my husband, and asked, Just what is it about a deer sighting that gets people so enthralled?    My husband replied that he thought it was because deer are so peaceful and graceful, and that they have a calming effect on people.  I thought about it, and I think he is right.  They are incredibly beautiful and peaceful animals.   They bring calmness and stillness in all who come upon them.  And that is sorta nice in this crazy busy world that we live in.

 I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I had the pleasure of working in the petting zoo at Opryland Theme park when I was a teenager.  In this zoo, there was a separate deer petting farm.  All of these deer had been bottle fed by humans and conditioned to human touch.  The animal keepers took turns selling deer food to the guests in the park (sweet grain in an ice cream cone) for 25¢.  Our job was also to reprimand guests who felt the need to occasionally abuse the deer.  On more than one occasion, I found myself literally pole vaulting over the deer food booth I sat in when selling food, to reprimand a guest who would be trying to physically break a buck’s antlers right off its head (to take home for a souvenir they would always say).  I also on several occasions would catch parents setting their babies or small children on the deer’s backs for a ride, or people who thought it was funny to feed cigarettes to the deer.  While these occasions made my blood pressure soar and left me shaking my head, fortunately they were rare incidents.  Most of the time, I just sat in my booth where I would marvel at the calmness and peace that would come over people as they stood back and watched the deer or the awe in their faces when they would stand and pet a doe or a buck.   It mesmerized me and I loved it.       


We have some sparse woods in the neighborhood we live in.  We have white-tailed deer visit almost every day.  One time there were 6 does in our backyard.  Recently, there has been a doe and her triplet fawns who visit us every morning between 6:30 and 7 am.  We have spotted the fawns frolicking, leaping and playing in the backyard.  They usually come when I am up preparing breakfast for my teenager on school days and I always stop what I am doing and watch them.  Sometimes when there are deer around, our neighbors will call and tell us to look out the window, or we will call them to tell them to look out their front or back door.   And yes, we are known to grab our cameras, step out on the patio and start snapping pictures.   Just what exactly is it about a deer sighting that excites us humans so?  I find myself asking that question every time.  It’s the beauty.  It’s the peace.  It’s their gracefulness.  It’s the calmness they instill in us.  It’s the excitement of capturing that one perfect photo of such an elusive creature.  Yes….  I think it’s all of those things.      


Gail ♥      


About Gail

I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, friend, veterinarian, and wanna be writer. I love nature and animals of all kinds, music, cooking, and spending time with my family.
This entry was posted in Animals, Beauty, Family, Memories and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to What is it About a Deer Sighting?


    “Memorial Day Weekend”???…Thought it was Labor Day Weekend. 😉


    Liked ur post, anyway. 😉

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