“Nothing is so strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as real strength”. ~St Francis de Sales
This quote has never touched me as much as it did, during my last wine tour with my family.
I will begin at the beginning….
As we were nearing the cabin that we had rented for the weekend, we were naturally overwhelmed with excitement. We had driven 6 hours, in the southwest direction, only to land ourselves smack dab in the middle of a state, that looked exactly as our own!
Still, it was beautiful. Country roads were snow covered and hard to navigate, yet we carried on, despite the wilderness' attempt to turn us away. Large empty cornfields led the way to a large dense forest, which was the home of our rented abode…..The place where our adventure would begin…
As we cautiously made our way down the lane, we saw massive amounts of deer, in the empty cornfields…more than we had ever seen at one time. Deer are something that we commonly see, in our neighboring Midwest state, yet the amount of these white tail deer in one setting was absolutely mesmerizing! We had come to a complete stop at one point, to watch them in all of their glory. I believe we would have gotten out to view them more closely, if only it weren't so cold.
They just stared back at us in stillness….heads cocked with curiosity…
Or so we thought….
We snuggled into our cabin without incident, and made our way to a few wineries before dinner. Some of my family members are still avid smokers, and due to the “No Smoking” rules in most facilities these days, they had often times found themselves outside frolicking with the locals, thus picking up valuable information for the rest of us, for the remainder of our trip!
At dinner that same night, we learned information that could essentially save our lives….
The smokers in our party rushed to join us at the table, with faces lit up so bright, that you knew they could only be carrying more knowledge…. And they were! Casually, while taking a drag of his cigarette, a local man asked if we were visiting for the first time. After a quick answer of “yes” followed, the man filled their brains with knowledge of the Illinois land….
He said to be wary of the deer, for they will attack! You may not even see them coming, but may turn to find their front feet up in the boxing position, and see that your nose is bloodied, before you can even say the word “HELP”!!! Apparently, sometimes they will keep boxing you, and won't let you get away from them, putting you at risk for death! Lucky for us, this gentleman was nice enough to tell us how to free ourselves from the strong triceps of this creature, that my family could only consider to be a genetic mutation of deer…a kangadeer if you will!!! We certainly weren't in Indiana anymore!
So, how do you get away from these hybrid deer you ask???…..
…..He said…..”PUNCH THEM IN THE KIDNEYS”!
Of course, as we noshed on bar food, and sipped more wine, we dared each other to stand up to a deer, we offered money to the first person who would walk to the road and back in the dark, not knowing how many deer may be lurking……and then of course, we seriously discussed our tactics! Though it was never said outwardly, I know we were so thankful we didn't get out of the car to view those initial thousand deer up close! Honestly, we wouldn't have known what to do then….as we did now!!
We were all more than willing to engage in a fight with this species if necessary, though we all agreed that we would not send anyone to help, for fear someone else would die. If you fought….you fought alone! We would however, shout out all of the valuable information we could remember, to the unfortunate victim that the deer chose, in hopes to calm their nerves and help them defeat the deer. The main problem though, was that none of us knew where the kidney of a deer was located. It could be up high, or in the middle, and we may have had to make a huge effort to reach North of the deers body, in its chest cavity…we just couldn't be sure. None of us wanted to be in a situation, where we were blindly punching, only to find out we were hitting the deers appendix…or worse, the thyroid gland of the mammal! We needed to be more prepared!!!
Thankfully, none of us ever got boxed. I think its mainly due to the safety measures we took.
We always traveled in pairs…. We looked in our periphery constantly….We stayed in the car…. AND most importantly, we made sure the doors were latched securely and locked, in case these creatures had opposable thumbs!!
I love my family, and I'm glad we lived through another adventure that could have ended in tragedy.
When I got home, I tried to find out where the kidney of a deer was located, then started researching other tactics. Since that man, who was a stranger to us, helped save our lives, I decided to help all of you with my new knowledge…just in case you encounter the same issues.
The kidneys are located beneath the lungs and behind the liver.
Carry bear spray/or pepper spray for safety.
Carry a long hiking stick with a hollow handled survival knife taped to the end, to use as a spear.
In an emergency, set off a road or marine flare, making sure not to set a fire.
Most importantly, DONT RUN! First find out why its attacking, and be sure to make eye contact as you slowly back away. When you're far enough away, start flailing your arms and yelling, to scare it off!!
If none of that works, and you find yourself being beaten down by the same hooves you shook just moments ago…..just start punching its kidneys!!