Somehow I knew it would but Montana has found a place on our list of favorite states and we have only been in it for a few days. But I bet it goes even higher on the list as our time in Montana goes on.
I have been telling Diane for years that I thought Montana, Wyoming and Colorado would win as far as great places to spend our summers and even though very early in the game I’m thinking I just may have been right.
Obviously from the statement above we are enjoying ourselves, except like in many parts of the country right now the temperatures are going to get a little higher than we like. Uncommonly high for this area we are told. It’s funny how in every part of the country we keep getting told it’s uncommonly cold, it’s uncommonly wet, it’s uncommonly hot LOL!!! Do we just drag the “uncommon” along with us???
I think in this update we will tell our crazy deer story and let pictures tell their own story about the area.
Once we reached our first hiking trail of the day on Thursday we grabbed some water and headed off on what we figured would be a nice short warmup trail for the day.
We hiked probably no more than ½ mile up a gradual slope. Along that first ½ mile we saw a deer and its babies off to the side of the trail about 100 yards away. We looked, smiled and moved on like we have done with hundreds of deer in the past. Like many, being from a state like Oregon we are very familiar with deer and have encountered more than we can even count over the years. Enough that we hardly give them a second thought any more.
We eventually realized that we had probably taken the wrong turn at a fork in the trail we had passed so we turned around to go back. Shortly after reversing directions we saw 2 deer and two fawns standing in and along the trail roughly 40 yards ahead of us. So “knowing” they would either see us and run away or just wander off we stopped to just watch them. The fawn still had their spots and that’s what made us stop instead of just walking on. Then he fun began.
We had not stopped more than 15 seconds before one deer started up the trail in our direction which seemed odd enough but hey, it’s a deer, so we just stood there watching. But it kept coming, 40 yards, 30 yards, 20 yards and closing. And it wasn’t acting like it thought we were just going to feed it or act like it was just curious. It had the look and body language of “you are in my flippin area and you need to GO” LOL!!! At about 30 yards I spoke out with something like, what the heck are you doing you crazy deer??!!
As it was approaching I wasn’t really worried but still told Diane to stay behind me and we would keep a 20” diameter tree between the deer and us and about that time the deer started making noises and moved even closer, now it was closer than 20 yards and I was ready to go into more of an offensive mode, obviously hand motions and loud chatter on my part was not deterring the deer so I grabbed a tree branch from the ground that was roughly 6” diameter on the thick end and about 10 to 12’ long and held it out as a buffer.
So there we were, Diane behind me all the time asking something about a camera, me holding a 12’ spear standing behind a small tree with a crazy deer about 10 yards in front of us giving us shit!!! What the hell!!! We were warned about bear but no one said anything about the crazy deer they grow here in Montana, geeez.
Now we in no way ever want to portray ourselves as a couple outdoorsman than could be sent off into the wilderness with 1 match and a shoelace and expect to survive but we certainly are not people that have never spent any time in the woods around wildlife either but I have to tell ya, that stupid deer darn near had me nervous. I was at that chuckle because it’s a crazy thing moment and nervous enough to have some adrenaline pumping through my veins. And I think Diane was content staying behind me, but still wanting a stupid camera LOL!! I had one camera around my neck and one in my pocket and to be honest getting one to her was not really high on my list I guess, so no pictures of this moment unfortunately.
Keep in mind that we never at any time came between the deer and the fawns, and the deer had all sorts of options to walk or run off to in any direction without encountering us which is part of what made this so odd. A deer on attack mode without being prompted, craziness.
At one point I thought about turning and walking away back up the trail but I wasn’t so certain that with the deer only a few feet away I wanted to leave the protection of the small tree we were behind so decided to hold our ground. Anyway, without exaggerating this entire incident lasted probably just over 5 minutes even though it seemed much longer before the deer down the trail made some noise and the aggressor deer turned and charged after it creating some distance between it and us.
Even though it turned and gave us the stink eye we took the opportunity to continue down the trail with spear in hand LOL!! There you have it, our crazy deer story.
After that walk we jumped in the jeep and continued up to an observation area where mountain goats were known to hang around. We walked out on this nice trail and scoured the mountainside in hope of seeing a goat but no luck so we turned and headed back to the Jeep. We walked about 20 yards and Diane stopped and said DAVE!! Sure enough there was a Mountain Goad about 20 foot in front of us standing on the trail. Of course after just going through the crazy deer thing the first thing that crossed my mind was “oh hell no, not again” LOL!!!
But the goat wasn’t as interested in us as the deer was thank goodness and just wandered off on its own accord. As the day went on we came across so many mountain goats, and close encounters with them I might add, that I actually got tired of taking pictures of them.
What a beautiful place this is. And there is, or at least can be adventure around every corner.