Once again, it’s the time of year when white-tailed deer throw caution to the wind in the quest for mates and find themselves in places no deer should ever be. Minutes after watching a video of a white-tailed deer trashing an office in Jackson, Miss., I learned that a similar event had just occurred here at the Conservation Department’s Jefferson City office. I grabbed a camera and dashed upstairs, but by the time I got there the deer was gone and the cleanup was underway. However, Forestry Programs Specialist Mike Morris documented the capture with his cell phone.
Apparently a mature whitetail buck in a testosterone-induced fog crashed through a plate-glass window near the front door. The 165-pound buck squirted through a narrow gap between a baseboard heater and a stout wood railing and found himself in a corridor that was, fortunately, unoccupied by people at the time. The deer bolted down the hallway and took a right, headed for the director’s office. Maybe he had a complaint? Along the way, he startled a couple of people emerging from restrooms. They ducked back inside.
Intrepid Facility Maintenance Technician Wes Bailey was first on the scene and tackled the terrified deer, wrestling it to the floor by its eight-point antlers. Rex Martensen, who supervises the Conservation Department’s wildlife damage biologists, piled on next, getting control of the deer’s flailing hooves, which are just as dangerous as antlers. Two more conservation workers, including one who was here for new-employee orientation, arrived shortly afterwards. Between the four of them they managed to hog-tie the errant deer. After covering the animal’s head with a towel to calm it down, they hoisted it through a ground-level window and out onto the lawn.
As luck would have it, State Wildlife Veterinarian Kelly Straka was visiting the Central Office and gave the deer a quick exam. She found nothing more serious than a cut lip and pronounced the deer fit for duty – outdoors. When released, the deer bounded away to continue looking for love…