Last week, I killed two deer. Not with a gun. Not with my car.

I killed two deer because I was curious.

I've never been a hunter. My dad wasn't a hunter. His dad wasn't a hunter. We fished, we just didn't hunt.

I don't see anything wrong with hunting. I just personally don't think I could kill an animal any bigger than, say, a snake or something. Sure, I had a BB Gun as a kid. I shot at lots of small animals - and the occasional bully who was walking down my street, while I hid behind some bushes - but, I don't think I actually was good enough of a shot to ever hit anything.

I've never hit a deer with my car. I've come close a number of times. Once, in Washington Township, I was stuck in traffic, going about 10 miles per hour, when a deer jumped directly over the hood of my car. He cleared it easy, just missing the windshield.

I have hit other animals, though. A family of racoons, once, on a country road. (My white Pontiac Firebird instantly had a splash of red on its side.)

I've never killed anything bigger than that mama racoon, until last week.

Last week, I killed two deer.

Again, I didn't hit the deer with my car. I didn't kill them with a gun.

I killed them by being curious.

It was shortly after 4am on a beautiful morning last week when I pulled into the side entrance of our parking lot at the radio station. The side entrance is off of Burton Avenue, in Northfield. The block directly across Burton contains Birch Grove Park - a nice size park, filled with a bunch of very small inter-connected ponds, lots of trees, and a good amount of deer.

As I pulled into the lot, I immediately saw several deer inside out building's property, on a grassy area just off Burton. (Is this a grassy knoll? I don't know what a grassy knoll is, to tell you the truth.) The grassy area is actually surrounded on two sides - next to Burton Avenue, and next to the back of a small shopping center - by a rusty old chain link fence.

It's not a big grassy area, but, in the dark, it looked like at least a dozen deer were standing in the area.

I immediately stopped my car, and quietly got out. I stood quietly outside my door, not making any sudden movements, trying to observe.

I noticed several of the deer freeze, probably the closest about 15 yards from me. A few other deer scampered out the parking lot exit, and ran across the street to the park.

I quickly realized that several deer were walking underneath the trees and amongst the under-brush.  I could hear them slowly walking. Another deer then almost tip-toed out and made it's way to the street.

As I said, it was just after 4am, so it was fairly dark, other than a couple distant street lights.

It seemed like I had been standing there quietly for several minutes, although, in reality, it was probably only several seconds. It was warm, dark, and peaceful. I almost felt like I was standing with the deer. I could hear them move. I could hear them breathe.

Then, without warning,. it was almost as if something called the deer. At once they all moved. The gingerly-stepping in the brush turned to stomping amongst the leaves and sticks. I heard the cracking of wood, I heard the running of several hooves, I heard crashing against the fence!

It was too dark to see into the brush, but it almost sounded like the deer were trying to jump the fence, but couldn't make it. Maybe they were running into the fence, trying to penetrate it.

As quickly as it started, it stopped. A couple more deer slipped out of the brush and made their way out of the driveway and across the street. Again, it was quiet.

Figuring the deer had all gone, I hopped back into my car, drove over to a parking area near our building and went inside.

My heart sunk later that morning, however. A couple hours after relaying the story to a co-worker, he told me that someone had found a deer - dead - lying next to the fence by the road. A short time later, another dear was sighted, also inside that fence.

I'm guessing the two deer had tried to bolt, only to meet their fate amongst the brush and the old metal fence.

If only I'd stopped at Wawa that morning, and turned into our building's front entrance, rather than the side, maybe those two deer would still be alive.

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