Up in Franktown, between Colorado Springs and Denver on the western edge of the Plains, a funny-looking deer showed up the other day – a whitetail, apparently, a youngish male with a small rack.
What was so odd about its appearance was that it was wearing a big, bright-orange dog collar.
Jordan Winn, who lives in Franktown, pop. 395, was in his yard Wednesday afternoon when he and his wife saw what they said was a “friendly deer.”
We hate to do it, but we have to break in at this point to fact-check: Deer, at least those which are wild, as they should be, are not your friends. They will not go to the movies with you or watch your children when duty calls or even play fetch.
If a deer seems friendly, there is probably something wrong with it.
This theoretically friendly young buck approached the Winns’ fence.
Winn’s wife reached out her hand. The deer nosed her fingertips.
“We’ve never seen a deer with a collar before, and that indicated right away he’s not from around here,” Winn told CBS4 Denver TV news.
There could be some other place, not Franktown, but maybe Elbert or Calhan, that deer are from and where they wear collars, but we don’t think so. Parks and Wildlife officials could be closer to the mark in speculating that this deer was raised by people who set in free in Franktown, strange as it seems.
Deer, especially bucks, do not make good pets. Everyone should know this but there are always a few who do not get the message.
After nosing the human fingers, the collared deer came through the Winns’ fence and pinned the woman against another, barbed wire fence.
So Jordan Winn grabbed the deer by the collar and an antler and pulled him off the woman.
That, he said, “was the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life.”
The deer knocked him down and dragged him. Winn wrestled the buck until he had its nose pressed into the ground – which is like holding a wolf by the ears; you don’t want to be holding a wolf by the ears, but you don’t dare let go.
The deer was unhappy about this turn of events.
Winn fled and took shelter behind his boat.
Parks and Wildlife ultimately shot the buck dead, and issued this reminder, for anyone who needs it: “It is illegal to own or possess wildlife in Colorado. You cannot remove a wild animal from the woods and take it home ... wildlife belongs to the state of Colorado, to all citizens.”