Coming home from dance class and shopping tonight, I saw a van with a recently hunted deer tied to the back end. Now that I have been in rural Wisconsin for almost 12 years, I am getting used to this sight. For the first few years, I was taken aback every time I saw a car or truck with a dead animal strapped to the top. Eating such an animal never really occurred to me at the time, being brought up suburban and all that. But times change. Now I'm happy to get deer meat from friends who kill more than their own families will eat. And, my family is thrilled, too.
Our first year here, I had an interesting experience with deer. I was on obstetrics call one night in the fall. Sometime after midnight, I was called in to deliver a baby. The birth went well, and I finished all my paperwork. I decided to take the "back way" home since it was a little quicker. We lived about eight minutes from the hospital and the "back way" involved going out of town into the country by several farms. On the way home, I came across two deer, almost hitting one. As I got into bed at about 3am, I told my husband that I'd better go through town from now on to avoid deer. A whopping fifteen minutes later, the hospital called and needed me to come in immediately to see a pregnant woman with elevated blood pressure and preterm labor (that will sure get my blood pressure up!). Of course, I decided to go through town instead of taking the country roads. As I got into town, I turned on the main residential street with lots of old homes, and saw, to my great amazement and dismay, three deer walking side by side down the road - just like in that TV show "Northern Exposure"! They were facing away from me and didn't make any move to get out of my way until I was practically on top of them! I got to the hospital and took care of the patient, transferring her to more appropriate care and headed back home. When I settled into bed again (this time around 5am), I told the story to my husband and said that if I came across a moose walking down the street (a la "Northern Exposure"), we were moving back down South. Needless to say, the deer and I have made peace, and we are still enjoying life in the Great White North!