I want to tell you a story about how I snuck right up on a deer. I've gotten pretty close to these animals in the past, but not this close when there wasn't anything in between us. I could have actually reached out and touched this deer, and it might have let me. Well, on to the story!
I was hiking on my way out of my newest wandering spot, after seeing several wonderful sights. As I came to a fork in the trail, I saw a lone deer just off the trail. It was behind a couple of trees, grazing around the forest floor. It didn't notice me, so I used the cover of the biggest one of the trees to sneak right up close to it.
I noticed a long time ago that deer will stand behind trees, thinking that nobody can see them there. Usually they're completely right, but sometimes I'll just catch sight of one of them and their cover is blown. Even then, it works pretty well. Since it usually works for the deer, I figured I'd give it a try.
As I snuck up to this one, it would sometimes look up, sensing my presence. When this would happen, I just stopped and stood still until it went back to it's search for food. I remembered the time I made the deer mad at me, so I decided it was a good idea to stay near a tree for protection.
When I got close enough, I decided it was time to start taking a few pictures. This was the reason I got close to this animal in the first place. I knew I had to move from behind the tree a little bit now, and I hoped I'd get a few shots before the deer ran away. So I eased myself from behind the tree and began to take my pictures.
Of course as soon as I stepped out the deer saw me. When this happened I froze! I hoped it wouldn't run too quickly. To my amazement, it just stood there looking right at me. It didn't move at all! I must have surprised it so completely that it didn't know what to do. Well, I decided right then to keep taking pictures.
Just as this was happening, the deer turned it's head the other way. I looked in the same direction, and saw two women coming up the trail. The deer was nervous now, but it looked back at me as if I could protect it from them. It had decided I wasn't a threat, and I would keep the women away. I can't explain how I knew this except for the look it gave me.
I took another few steps towards it to test my theory, and it didn't move away! I was now off the trail standing very near my new friend. I had now completely forgotten my pictures. The two women stopped to watch the deer for a few seconds too. I stayed where I was because if the deer trusted me to protect it, I wasn't going to let it down.
Through all of this, the deer felt safe enough to go back to it's grazing. The women got enough of a look and eventually walked away. To their credit, they were smart enough to stay quiet while they were there, after I motioned it to them with a raised finger to my mouth. The deer was still there peacefully eating it's meal.
I had already checked to make sure it was alright. It was moving around without any indication of injury. It was just a case where I must have fooled it so thoroughly that it decided I must belong there. Maybe the fact that the women also frightened it while it was confused, led it to believe it would take a friend anywhere it could get one.
Whatever the case, when I decided the deer was okay, I turned and walked back onto the trail and away. I looked back when I was getting far away, and I noticed the deer now walking into the forest completely unconcerned. I then turned back to make my way out of the park.