Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Taper Rambling #3

I set up for the next high speed turn, the rear mounted engine of my car roared as I downshifted to third gear and shot around the corner. The tires held firm as I drove my 1968 Volkswagen Squareback around the corner and into the next straight. I was driving home from work through the Piceance (pee-ance) Creek Basin in Colorado. One hundred yards ahead of me I saw something in the road. As I neared the object I could see it was a large buck Mule Deer with a huge rack of antlers. He was laying on his side looking up at me as I approached in my VW. It was apparent that a vehicle had hit the deer.

I happened to have my .22 rifle with me in the car from some jackrabbit hunting I had done that weekend and I decided that I should put the deer down. I stopped my car, got out, and decided to drag the big fellow off the road before getting my gun. I walked up to the deer and grabbed its trophy-sized antlers with the intention of dragging him off the road. Suddenly I found myself standing in the middle of a secluded highway with a full grown injured Mule Deer standing next up to me as I held it by it’s antlers.

A sudden rush of stories from Field and Stream magazine surged into my mind. Stories of hunters who had put their guns across the rack of a deer for a trophy photo only to have the deer get up and run away with the gun in it’s antlers. I pictured myself in the magazine after telling my story of trying to do the right thing and ending up slashed by hooves and gored by antlers. I just knew that this was going to end with some scars that I could show my grandchildren as I retold the story.

Fortunately the shot of adrenaline I got from all these negative thoughts allowed me to throw one hell of a steer wrestler move on the deer and I took it back down and got it to the side of the road. Sadly I think that standing was the last bit of energy the deer had in it. I put the deer down, which was illegal since it was not hunting season, but it ended his suffering.

I’m skilled with the mad moves on deer should I ever get attacked by one whilst running trails.

This incident happened circa 1979 when Michelle and I worked at an Oil Shale Project. We took a year off from college to earn some money. I was 22 years old. It’s a moment frozen in time for me.


Backofpack said...

I remember this story, but when I saw the picture, I figured it was the bullet story. There are a lot of good ones from the Colorado days - you'll never have to write about running again!

Sarah said...

I will think of you next time bambi attacks. : )

Yeah, once you conquer CCC, we'll be so bored with your running talk, you'll have to keep entertaining us with the stories from the old days! ; ) : )

robtherunner said...

This was a good one even though I have heard it before. I am still waiting for that cougar to attack so I will have a story to tell my grandkids:)

Sarah Elaine said...

If the previous rambling was about speed, this one was about being touch.

You're not... taking... a... gun... with... you... this weekend... are you??

Journey to a Centum said...

Naw Sarah, don't need no gun no more. Thay's frowned upon at Ultras and tend to be too much extra weight. I was talk'n bout the old days in the West when a man had to pack a gun to survive.

It's a good thing I didn't need to hunt to survive because my hunting ventures typically turned into long hikes into the wilderness. I did however scare a few hundred jackrabbits with my horrible aim. I'll admit to actually killing one rabbit but that was with my VW.

Reminds me of another Colorado Story... perhaps it will be ramble #4.

Journey to a Centum said...

Sarah Elaine: On second thought I should give one to my crew in case they need to put me down.

I can see it now.. He bonked really bad so we had to put him down. It ended his suffering

scott keeps running said...

these ramblings are suspiciously beginning to sound like famous last words , like you want to get the good stories in print while you know you still can.

Notes from Eric: A Look Back on One Man's Run Toward Insanity - the Ultra-Deadly Side of Ultra-Running

wendy said...

Ha! If I'd known you were so handy with a weapon, I'd have made you take me out for a round or two so I could prepare for last week! I only handle the M-16 once every 3 years, so I would have been more scared of the 22 then I would have the buck!

Karen said...

Wow!.... Woulf say beware the revenge of the deer this weekend, but I think the deer community will be saving that for the guy who ran that bigun over and drove off!

You're a brave man - doing the right thing and wrestling with it too.... oh and brave and slightly mad for the upcoming race!!!! Goodluck with that if I don't catch your blog again before the big day! :o)

Jack said...

Why is it easy for me to visualize you wrestling a deer off it's feet - I guess when you start running ultras nothing seems impossible anymore :-)

Love your non-running posts, keep them coming!

Anonymous said...

Deer wrestling, huh? So, this is what happens to the mind of an ultra-runner while he tapers. :) Good luck at Cascade Crest. I'll think of you as I'm running Hood to Coast. It's not like I'll be getting any sleep either. Run strong!

Steve said...

Yep, those years of wrestling in school paid off.

Yes Eric, I am resting this week, except moving all the furniture and stuff back in from the garage.

I once wrestled a rabid squirrel....nah, just kidding.

Journey to a Centum said...

Scott: Hope not

Wendy: My best weapon is a car

Karen: I'm sure the deer are out to get the guy who hit my wrestling partner. Deer Justice!

Jack: I've got a couple more

Annette: I'd rather be dear wrestling!

Steve: I'm sure that you have wrestled rabid squirrels before. You shouldn't bite their heads off.

Anonymous said...

Ha! :)

I'm running leg 8 for HTC. That means I get the pleasure of Pittsburgh Hill on my 2nd leg - What fun. :) Take it easy - for now!

Meghan said...

Wow, apparently you should taper for races more often, because then we get the dirt on your life! :)

Good luck at CCC, and I know you are going to have a most successful day out there! Stomach beware, Eric will conquer!

Good luck!

Addy said...

I totally thought this story was going to be about you running into the deer with your car, not a wrestling match :)

These non running rambles are fun. Thanks for sharing them!

Anonymous said...