Melissa Fischer. wild in Michigan. naturalist

jumping off the deck onto a deer

I recently listened to a former classmate of mine chat about “fair chase hunting”. In a fair chase hunt the animal you are hunting is in its natural environment and has more of a chance than not of alluding you. So to call a hunt fair chase you would not be hunting a caged animal or over a bait pile.

I see animals in my yard regularly because they know they can find food and water here. If I shot a big deer while sitting in one of the patio chairs, linguistically I shouldn’t tell anyone I shot that deer in a fair chase hunt.

My friend Stan and I always joke around about / plan on launching ourselves off my top deck onto the back of one of the deer who show up regularly. Ideally we’d do this in the winter when there is a deep snow pack to pad our jump. Stan thinks he could punch the deer out before any harm would befall him and I think I’d get my face/skull shattered with a few swift kicks to the face after I got bucked off the back. Before anyone calls PETA you should know there isn’t nearly enough snow to support us launching ourselves off the deck.

Tomorrow temperatures will rise above freezing. The 6 inches of snow we have will become perfect packing snow. I bet that if I get outside and mold the snow into a little snow maze, the turkeys will come and make their way through the maze to get at some corn…definitely proof that my yard is not fair chase hunting material.

I'm guessing this is a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

A Blue Jay in the cold wind.

A Northern Flicker flying away from the suet feeder. Bright gold feathers coupled with a gray and red head make for a cool bird.

blurry, but shows some of the flicker's cool feather pattern


22 responses

  1. Melissa, you are so funny! Your jumping off the deck onto the back of a deer is akin to the old “oaters” (western movies) where the good guy jumps off the balcony onto his white horse to go catch the bad guy. Try not to land on the antlers, my dear. :-)
    I like your pictures. Yes, it is a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

    January 21, 2012 at 10:23 am

    • melissakoski

      Thanks for the ID Bob! My Grandpa was a huge Tim McCoy fan… I wonder if he was an balcony jumper. (:

      January 21, 2012 at 2:11 pm

      • Your Grandpa or Tim McCoy?? :-)

        I don’t know but there was Tom Mix, Hoppalong Cassidy, Lash Larue, Gene Artery, :-)

        January 21, 2012 at 6:39 pm

  2. I like your “hunting” method. Having older, brittle bones, my “hunting” is more like – “Kristen, look at that frumious Bandersnatch.”

    January 21, 2012 at 10:45 am

    • melissakoski

      Our hunt plans are more chatter than reality too…. it’s more of our campfire talk than anything. My husband won’t listen to our lighting needs to make it happen anyway.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      • As a medically retired electrician, I would LOVE to help you out; however, the physical labor would put me out of commission for at least a week (if not more).

        January 21, 2012 at 1:37 pm

  3. Amazing photos! Not sure about the “deer hunting” idea! And you’re right, a kick in the head might be inevitable.

    January 21, 2012 at 11:22 am

    • melissakoski

      Definitely a dumb idea. I’d have Stan try it first. It’d probably take the deer years to come back for my turn.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:41 pm

  4. My daughter and I watched a hawk take a dove out of the air right over our heads. She was mortified. I called it the circle of life. Now I have another term: fair chase. The dove did give the hawk a run for the money, but it didn’t pay off so well for the dove. :-( I’m not sure about jumping off the deck onto a deer. Our dog used to chase them though Oliver Woods…just surprised he never took a hoof to the noggin. Be careful out there, huntress! Beautiful shots, by the way.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    • melissakoski

      (: I’d send Stan over the edge first Lisa don’t worry. I saw a hawk take a little squirrel a few years ago and it was terrible and amazing all at once…and I couldn’t stop mentally replaying either!

      Today didn’t even warm up enough to make packing snow. I couldn’t begin making the roll away ramp alongside the deck. ha ha I did make a huge jump on the sledding hill though. (:

      January 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm

  5. Mom!

    Tim McCoy was such a slight man that the horse he rode looked like a pony. Much longer jump as a result. He did always get the girl but all the nature, including the trees etc. were done on sets. We’ve come a long way in film making and in our appreciation for nature.

    January 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    • melissakoski

      I knew there was something goofy about him Mom. (: I can always picture Aunt Lee laughing herself to tears when you guys joked about him.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:27 pm

  6. Brrr. That bluejay shivering in the wind makes me cold just looking at it.
    Wind here shifted to the North/Northeast today and that 54 degrees outside my man cave felt cold. I had to go back in and put on a heavier jacket. Winter sucks, doesn’t it???

    January 21, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    • melissakoski

      Ha I thought I saw 73°F for Dallas! I’d say wimpy, but you have to be tough dealing with Dallas traffic and crowds.
      You should know that our temps were a balmy 22°F today and when I dropped Krystal off to a party, not one of the thirty people I ran into had more than a sweatshirt or sweater on as outerwear. (: We’re tough (and our joints ache- lol)

      January 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm

  7. The bluejay makes me so nostalgic – we spent 5 years of my childhood in Canada.

    January 21, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    • melissakoski

      Oh really Julie? Do you miss the cold of Canada or do you get cold weather in Australia?

      January 22, 2012 at 7:36 pm

  8. Love the blue jay, but they are such bullies! LOL, great photos!

    January 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    • melissakoski

      Oh they come screeching in disturbing all the other birds for no reason at all. I’m always chasing them away from the feeders…especially in the spring since they’re known to eat young songbirds. On the upside they’re obnoxious squawking is handy for alerting me to something interesting happening.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

  9. Those flicker wing feather patterns are awesome. Never noticed them in the blur of real time.

    January 22, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    • melissakoski

      I never noticed or captured them extended like this either. I love all the patterns and colors on them. Hope you’re well Scott.

      January 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm

  10. Beautiful photos again, Melissa. I love reading the bird’s real names! Much better than I am……”Look! There’s a BIRD!”

    January 31, 2012 at 10:57 pm

  11. The photo of the Northern Flicker is spectacular. What a fascinating image.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:04 am


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