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Saturday essay: More deer tales

| Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

The day began with one deer and ended with nine.

Sunrise was two hours off as the Silverado exited the Parkway to loop around to Route 51. Just as the brakes were being applied, it was there — a young deer picking up speed off the hillside, ready to bolt across the ramp. A collision was imminent.

But as the truck's anti-lock brakes kicked in, preventing a sure skid, the deer's anti-lock hooves kicked in, too, preventing a sure collision. The only hint of the averted impact — a few deer hairs stuck on a fender screw.

Fourteen hours later, at home, dusk was nigh. The greenhouse had to be buttoned up. Just as the latch to the door was being secured, it was there, just to the left — a four-point buck wishing there were no fence between his snout and a raised bed's foot-high fall peas.

We scared each other at the same time. He bolted over a terrace to rejoin a pack of eight other deer, including two fresh fawns; I bolted to the greenhouse.

There's already a bumper crop of deer in Mt. Lebanon. At nearly 57 per square mile, that's more than the like count of many states. With the mating season ahead, the deer will be especially active. And the danger will only increase, as will the deer census in seven months or so.

Who knows, maybe the board of commissioners, which refuses to do anything to cull the population (and is more concerned about banning dogs from parks), is hoping to turn a few bucks by selling tickets to rutting-buck fights.

— Colin McNickle

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