This next story comes in from Jerry Bronsky, a rancher in the Bitterroot area of Missoula, Montana. He runs about 200 head of cattle on about 6,000 acres.
I have hunted with Jerry and he is a personal friend and a cowboy poet. Because of length, I will do it in three weeks. This is his story as it was written to me.
“I had an idea to rope a deer and put it in a stall. I figured since they congregate at my cattle feeder and don’t seem to have much fear of me, it shouldn’t be difficult to rope one and hog-tie it. I filled the cattle feeder, then hid down at the end. After about 20 minutes, my deer showed up.
“I picked out a nice one and threw my rope. The deer just stood there and stared at me. I wrapped the rope around my waist and twisted the end so I would have a good hold. You could see the deer was mildly concerned about the rope situation.
“I took a step forward it took a step back. I put a little tension on the rope and received an education. The first thing I learned: While a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, it is spurred into action when you start pulling on the rope. That deer exploded!
“The second thing I learned was that pound for pound, a deer is a lot stronger than a cow. A cow in that weight frame, I could fight down with a rope. A deer no chance. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting closer to it.
“As it jerked me off my feet and started dragging me across the ground, it occurred to me that having a deer on a rope was not nearly as good an idea as I had imagined a brief 10 minutes later.
“It was tired and not nearly as quick to jerk me off my feet and drag me when I managed to get up. It took me a few minutes to realize this since I was mostly blinded by the blood flowing out of the big gash in my head. At this point I had lost my taste for corn-fed deer.”
Part two next week.