View Full Version : Deer Roping

February 25, 2007, 04:37 PM
Received this e.mail from a friend; not sure if it is a joke or a very humorous account of an actual event. Suspect the former, either way, enjoy.

Subject: Deer roping

I had this idea that I was going to rope a deer, put it in a stall, feed it up on corn for a couple of weeks, then kill it and eat it.

The first step in this adventure was getting a deer. I figured that since they congregated at my cattle feeder and do not seem to have much fear of me when we are there (a bold one will sometimes come right up and sniff at the bags of feed while I am in the back of the truck not 4 feet away) that it should not be difficult to rope one, get up to it and toss a bag over its head (to calm it down) then hog tie it and transport it home.

I filled the cattle feeder then hid down at the end with my rope. The cattle, who had seen the roping thing before, stayed well back. They were not having any of it.

After about 20 minutes my deer showed up - 3 of them. I picked out a likely looking one, stepped out from the end of the feeder, 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. The deer still just stood and stared at me, but you could tell it was mildly concerned about the whole rope situation. I took a step towards it...it took a step away. I put a little tension on the rope and received an education.

The first thing that I learned is that while a deer may just stand there looking at you funny while you rope it, they are spurred to action when you start pulling on that rope. That deer EXPLODED.

The second thing I learned is that pound for pound, a deer is a LOT stronger than a cow or a colt. A cow or a colt in that weight range I could fight down with a rope with some dignity. A deer, no chance. That thing ran and bucked and twisted and pulled. There was no controlling it and certainly no getting close 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 originally imagined. The only up side is that they do not have as much stamina as many animals. 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 that point I had lost my taste for corn fed venison. I just wanted to get that devil creature off the end of that rope. I figured if I just let it go with the rope hanging around its neck, it would likely die slow and painfully somewhere. At the time, there was no love at all between me and that deer.
At that moment, I hated the thing and I would venture a guess that the feeling was mutual.

Despite the gash in my head and the several large knots where I had cleverly arrested the deer's momentum by bracing my head against various large rocks as it dragged me across the ground, I could still think clearly enough to recognize that there was a small chance that I shared some tiny amount of responsibility for the situation we were in, so I didn't want the deer to have to suffer a slow death so I managed to get it lined back up in between my truck and the feeder - a little trap I had set before hand. Kind of like a squeeze chute. I got it to back in there and started moving up so I could get my rope back.

Did you know that deer bite? They do! I never in a million years would have thought that a deer would bite somebody so I was very surprised when I reached up there to grab that rope and the deer grabbed hold of my wrist. Now, when a deer bites you, it is not like being bit by a horse where they just bite you and then let go. A deer bites you and shakes its head - almost like a pit bull. They bite HARD and it hurts.

The proper thing to do when a deer bites you is probably to freeze and draw back slowly. I tried screaming and shaking instead. My method was ineffective. It seems like the deer was biting and shaking for several minutes, but it was likely only several seconds.

I, being smarter than a deer (though you may be questioning that claim by now) tricked it. While I kept it busy tearing the bejesus out of my right arm, I reached up with my left hand and pulled that rope loose. That was when I got my final lesson in deer behavior for the day.

Deer will strike at you with their front feet. They rear right up on their back feet and strike right about head and shoulder level, and their hooves are surprisingly sharp. I learned a long time ago that when an animal like a horse strikes at you with their hooves and you can't get away easily, the best thing to do is try to make a loud noise and make an aggressive move towards the animal. This will usually cause them to back down a bit so you can escape. This was not a horse. This was a deer, so obviously such trickery would not work. In the course of a millisecond I devised a different strategy. I screamed like woman and tried to turn and run. The reason I had always been told NOT to try to turn and run from a horse that paws at you is that there is a good chance that it will hit you in the back of the head. Deer may not be so different from horses after all, besides being twice as strong and three times as evil, because the second I turned to run, it hit me right in the back of the head and knocked me down. Now when a deer paws at you and knocks you down it does not immediately leave. I suspect it does not recognize that the danger has passed. What they do instead is paw your back and jump up and down onyou while you are laying there crying like a little girl and covering your head.

I finally managed to crawl under the truck and the deer went away.

Now for the local legend.

I was pretty beat up. My scalp was split open, I had several large goose eggs, my wrist was bleeding pretty good and felt broken (it turned out to be just badly bruised) and my back was bleeding in a few places, though my insulated canvas jacket had protected me from most of the worst of it. I drove to the nearest place, which was the co-op. I got out of the truck, covered in blood and dust and looking like hell. The guy who ran the place saw me through the window and came running out yelling "what happened?"

I have never seen any law in the state of Kansas that would prohibit an individual from roping a deer. I suspect that this is an area that they have overlooked entirely. Knowing, as I do, the lengths to which law enforcement personnel will go to exercise their power, I was concerned that they may find a way to twist the existing laws to paint my actions as criminal. I swear...not wanting to admit that I had done something monumentally stupid played no part in my response. I told him "I was attacked by a deer". I did not mention that at the time I had a rope on it.

The evidence was all over my body. Deer prints on the back of my jacket where it had stomped all over me and a large deer print on my face where it had struck me there. I asked him to call somebody to come get me. I didn't think I could make it home on my own. He did.

Later that afternoon, a game warden showed up at my house and wanted to know about the deer attack. Surprisingly, deer attacks are a rare thing and wildlife and parks was interested in the event. I tried to describe the attack as completely and accurately as I could. I was filling the grain hopper and this deer came out of nowhere and just started kicking the hell out of me and BIT me. It was obviously rabid or insane or something.

EVERYBODY for miles around knows about the deer attack (the guy at the co-op has a big mouth). For several weeks people dragged their kids in the house when they saw deer around and the local ranchers carried rifles when they filled their feeders. I have told several people the story, but NEVER anybody around here. I have to see these people every day and as an outsider - a "city folk". I have enough trouble fitting in without them snickering behind my back and whispering "there is the idiot that tried to rope the deer.":D


February 25, 2007, 05:42 PM
Better a deer than a goat....;)


February 25, 2007, 06:03 PM
now that's funny.:D

reminds me of a situation a few years back when I too "roped" a deer. It happened the first day of deer season in a "earn a buck" zone, where you have to shoot an antlerless deer first before you can shoot a "legal" buck, I was sitting on the top of a narrow ridge watching a saddle where the deer cross when a large doe came along the other side. With the ridgeline covering her body the only target she presented was a neck or head shot. When she got downwind of me and got my scent she froze. I knew my only option before she bolted back the other way, was to take her in the head. At 30 yards, it's a no brainer for my M1917, so I took the shot and she dropped in her tracks. I got down and left my gun leaning against the base of my tree, knowing she was dead and all I needed to do was to tag her and field dress her quickly, then return to my stand and wait for my buck.

Being as how there was snow on the ground and the hill quite steep, she had already slid down the hill 20 or 30 yards. So to keep her from sliding down any more as I dressed her out I tied my drag rope around her neck and wrapped the other end around a small sapling. Just as I touched her leg to get her into position to open her up all hell broke out.......as I must have just grazed her head and knocked her out(I had even kicked her before puttin the rope on her to make sure she was dead). There I was 50 yards from my rifle, and there was a crazed deer on ten feet of rope fighting that sapling for her life. I don't know how long I stood and watched dumbfounded before I came to my senses and went back for my rifle. By the time I got back she was dead....I don't know if the original shot finally did it's job and the flurry was just death nerves or if she broke her neck, strangled herself or had a heart attack fightin' that sapling. I quickly looked around(doesn't everybody) to see if anyone else had witnessed the incident before I proceeded to dress her out. I left her tied to the tree till I left to back to the truck.....just in case.

Smokey Joe
February 25, 2007, 08:31 PM
HPS-1--Now that was without a doubt my best yuk all week! :D :D :D Thanx for sharing!!

February 25, 2007, 09:28 PM

That was seriously funny, I was laughing out loud till Karen ask me what???? I read it to her and we both laughed till we had tears in our eyes.

I have not laughed at anyones writing like that since reading a Patrick McManus article or some of his books that are that good. I don't know anything about who wrote this but they should seriously consider writing career.

February 25, 2007, 10:21 PM
Same here, rem33. I was laughing hysterically!! I read it to my wife (Tami) and we both laughed harder than we have in a long time. OMG that was funny.

February 26, 2007, 10:34 AM
Thanks for posting it. It is a great story!!!!

The Gamemaster
February 26, 2007, 11:56 AM
I have tied lots of deer to trees.

One of the best ones was along our camp road.
My dad and uncle was driving down the road and shot it.

When they went to field dress it - it had a rope around it's neck.

That one was priceless.

If I would have had a camera that day, I would have taken their picture.

Lot's of people joke about having one tied to the tree for the first day of deer season , but most people never saw one tied to a tree.

February 26, 2007, 01:03 PM
I dont know about you folks South of the 49th paralell but up here there are laws against capturing and keeping wild animals.

That said a neighbour of mine found a baby antelope once that was apparently abandoned took it home and fed it and took care of it and it thought it was a dog for the longest time. It slept on the front step with the dog and played with the kids and everything. I guess it nearly broke the little guys heart when they took him for a drive in the old truck and had to release him back into the wild.

February 26, 2007, 02:12 PM
Laughed so hard my wife asked me what I was reading! When I read it to her, we both laughed! Reminds me of a guy I knew in the USMC that was a rodeo cowboy and tried to bulldog a blacktail buck. It flipped right over, but then got back up and tried to kill him! Gored him, kicked him, stomped him, and chased him down the road! I don't think he ever lived it down! "Little bitty 100 lb blacktail buck kicked the snot out of a big tough Marine like you? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

February 26, 2007, 04:30 PM
I have tied lots of deer to trees.

Wonder what Mr. Game Warden would have said about that? :eek:

Please tell me we aren't discussing and/or condoning an illegal activity on one of the most prominent internet firearms boards in the world.:(

john in jax
February 26, 2007, 08:21 PM
My hunting buddy is closer to 70 than 60 and retired, he gets to spend way more time in the woods, than I do. Last season he shot a hog that might have gone 200 lbs. He climed out of the tree stand, walked up to it, took a picture of the hog (complete with a big nasty head wound) with his cell phone, sent me the pic, and gave me a call. We talked for a few minutes and he even took and sent me another pic.

Deciding the hog was way too big to drag with all his gear, he went to his truck and offloaded everything except for his flashlight and cellphone, then strapped into his orange drag harness. When he got back to where the pig was it was gone. He knew he had the right spot because of the blood on the ground, but the pig had woke up and wandered off.

While searching the area he had a very chilling thought . . . what would have happened if the pig, that might have outweighed him by 50lbs, had woke up while tied to the harness which is securly strapped to his torso.

He's never without a little .22lr revolver these days, and never tries to drag anything out without a "for sure" .22 to it's forehead.

February 26, 2007, 10:37 PM
I used to carry a .22 for that little 4-sure. But here in MN i makes the deer illegal immediately. The local warden would check just for that.
Now i check the eye's, 1st with a stick, then up close. dull lac-luster eye's is what i what to see.

What a story, Wild -is-WILD,... full blown adrenaline.

February 26, 2007, 10:54 PM
Thats about the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Well, not the stupidest, but pretty bad. Too bad the Game Warden didn't get the real story on the deal. That would have been the icing on the cake if he had got a big ticket. That guy knew what he was doing was illegal or he wouldn't have lied about it to the Warden. I got exactly what he deserved on that deal. Pinning up a deer for a couple of weeks so he could butcher it.

February 26, 2007, 11:01 PM
Trooper: I don't see what's so wrong about it. We pin of thousands of species so we can butcher them. All of these species, unless there is something really crazy with my thinking, were once wild, or at least have decended from wild animals. I don't think man was created with a farm already set up and running...

Of course, the law is the law and we can't have poachers running around and taking wild animals illegally like that. All's I'm saying is all farmed animals were once wild creatures, so a wild deer is no different than the chicken you may have had last week for dinner.

February 26, 2007, 11:30 PM
That was just what I needed today:D
Even if some didn't find the humor in it.

February 26, 2007, 11:30 PM
I deleted as was off topic.

Art Eatman
February 27, 2007, 12:42 AM
If you have a deer-roping story, fine, but otherwise...

And one thing for sure: It doesn't matter how many gazillions of domestic animals are penned, nor for how long Homo Sap has been doing it: Capturing a wild game animal to pen it, feed it, and then butcher it is against the law. What we don't do here at TFL is try to rationalize an illegal action. Period.

Pen-raised deer and elk are held by people who have gone through the entire permitting process with the various state agencies. And they couldn't do it except that these animals will be released into the wild. They are not put to slaughter.


February 27, 2007, 01:14 AM

people who have gone through the entire pPen-raised deer and elk are held by ermitting process with the various state agencies. And they couldn't do it except that these animals will be released into the wild. They are not put to slaughter

This isn't roping and I am not wanting to get off subject as that is a great story, or start any thread arguments but and also.
If anyone wants to comment on this please start another thread as I don't wnat to mess up this roping story it is terrific.

We have folks here in Idaho raising elk for other than returning to the wild. There are elk being raised less than 15 miles from me. I am not sure what all they sell horn, hides, but there is a sign as you drive by saying " elk meat for sale" the animals are in a fenced field I know of several others that have penned elk.
I know of at least one other I have found on the net, 50 or so miles away, that you can come and shoot the bull or cow of your choice if you want to pay.
Legislation is in the works or was to stop such atrocities IMO.
Fish and Game is very worried about diseases that domesticated animals can transfer to the wild herds.

This is not the one down the road but I have driven by this place many times, working in the area. I couldn't find the other but have seen the web site.


Perhaps you meant to say NOT to be released.

February 27, 2007, 02:43 AM
There is a story I read about a bunch of ranch hands way back in the ranch days whi would wrestle with deer. There was a long long deer fence about 12 feet high that they couldn't jump over so the boys would get in a jeep and go up and down the fence until they kicked up a buck and had it running between them and the fence. Then one guy, probably named Earl or Ed, would climb on the hood and jump off grabbing the antlers and taking it down to the ground.

Now one day they had a bunch of city folk come into the ranch and, as campfires go, told stories of their adventures with these deer. Now one man in particular didn't believe a word he heard so the boys promised a demonstration the next day. That morning, the work went on as usual until evening when they got in the jeep with the slicker and started riding up and down the fence again.

Soon enough they encountered a little spike and Ed or Earl got up on the hood to get ready for his jump. Thing is, when they got close enough the jeep bounced over an old overgrown rut, launching the ranch hand in front of the jeep and they ended up running over the poor guy. They slid to a stop, hopped out and ran over to see the damage.
"You ok buddy?" one of the boys asked.
"Yeah I'm fine," was the answer
Then he tried to stand up. As he got to his feet he wobbled a couple of steps and fell over. Then he got up and tried again but to no avail.
"I think both my legs is broke," he said.
When they got him to the ranch to look at him, he was completely unscathed. Only thing is both heels broke off his cowboy boots. :D :p

Art Eatman
February 27, 2007, 09:47 AM
rem33, no problem about starting a thread as to what's done in your area. I guess my comments should have specified "SFAIK, in Texas..." :)

I know that on occasion, ranch hands in Texas brush country occasionally "daub a loop" on a deer. From what I hear, it makes for an interesting bit of rodeo. A 200-pound deer isn't gonna bother a thousand pounds of horse, much, though. One way to get "camp meat" for supper, for sure...

The old time vaqueros of early California used rawhide lariats of some 60 to 70 feet in length. Open-country ropes were longer than what cowboys use(d) in the "brasada" or brush country of south Texas. Anyhow, from time to time the spirit of adventure would outweigh commn sense, and two of the vaqueros would spot a grizzly out in the open--and they'd rope him.

Now, that sort of deal works if you get both nooses around his neck, and the riders could stay opposite each other with the bear in the middle. "IF", the largest word in the English language. The horses' weight, pulling opposite directions, could choke down the bear.

I don't know if it's still done, but the Mexican vaqueros had a game: Stand on a handkerchief. Hold the end of the lariat in your teeth. The other guys would run a horse past, and the deal was to rope the front feet and drop the horse before he hit the end of the rope. Being short in the skill department easily meant fewer cavities--on account of fewer teeth.


February 27, 2007, 01:09 PM
I watched Marlin Perkins and his sidekick that rode barefoot like the South American Cowboys rope a grizzly. They were successful but they were going for a live capture not a chokedown. So his sidekick got down of the horse to do something. I guess when he was down the horse let some slack get in the line. The grizzly then shakes his head with the slack on the lines and the footrace is on. Luckily Mr perkins sidekick made it to a good tree first. :eek:

Smokey Joe
February 27, 2007, 01:45 PM
Penning up a wild game animal to feed it up and kill it strikes me as unethical for anyone. Yes, I'm saying I don't do it and you should not do it either. (Cf the thread on ethics vs. personal preferences.)

That it is also against the law every place I know about just adds to the argument--but if it's legal, it would still be unethical.

That said, please note that the original poster didn't do it himself, he got the story off the I'net--we have no way of knowing if it really happened or not. And if it did happen, the original narrator got his comeuppance.

Also, the narrator did not lose all of his sense of responsibility--note that he realized that having given up trying to capture the deer, he still had to get the rope off the deer.

And, all of THAT said, it is still, IMHO, a very funny story.

February 27, 2007, 02:01 PM
All I would say is that anybody that wants to lasso a wild animal the easy part is roping him...lol.

The hard part is how to get your rope back uncut and it and you in one piece....

February 27, 2007, 02:56 PM
By Smokey Joe:
That it is also against the law every place I know about just adds to the argument--but if it's legal, it would still be unethical.

Couldn't have said it better myself! Have stayed out of the fray because it was not my intent to start an ethical/non-ethical debate and certainlydid not intend to imply that I condone the actions of the party in the story.

By Smokey Joe:
And, all of THAT said, it is still, IMHO, a very funny story.

Which was my original intent in posting the story in the first place. Ya gotta admit, whoever wrote it definately can spin a yarn.:)


February 28, 2007, 06:59 PM
I dont know about you folks South of the 49th paralell but up here there are laws against capturing and keeping wild animals.

Jseime...I too at first thought "that aint legal!" but then the more I read, the more it sounded made up and the funnier it got. Damn good bullshifter that guy.

In my case, I did nothing illegal and even told my story to a warden friend of mine, who just laughed.

February 28, 2007, 08:59 PM

Errrm, backstrap is $14 per pound?! That's about what it costs me to per pound of deer meat, but hell, at least I have a bunch of guns and gear left over after the eating is done!

Deer ropin stories.... tee hee. Note to self: If I try to rope that (now-feral) mule that's been eating corn from my feeders, tie other end to tree, not self.

February 28, 2007, 10:17 PM
I must be in the minority here, b/c I don't really see anything unethical about it. No different than when man first captured wild animals thousands of years ago and domesticated them and started a farm. They were wild animals, he caught them, he raised them & their offspring, he ate them & used them for everything from heavy labor to clothing.

So what's so unethical about doing that today? Because we've "evolved" since the very first farmers?

In India, wild adult elephants are still captured & domesticated. Is that unethical?

In South America, wild lama type animals are caught & sheered for their wool. Is that unethical?

I say it's no less unethical to hunt it down & shoot it than it is to farm it. And no less unethical to farm it vs. farming a chicken or a cow or a goat, imho.

Whether or not it's legal not withhstanding...

Ok, time to bash me....

Art Eatman
March 1, 2007, 02:37 PM
Aw, I don't see any "bash" deal...

I guess the whole thing--at least for me--is that deer and elk are for hunting, not pen-raising. Sort of a "symbol of the wild" thing, I guess.

Kinda like Ortega y Gasset in his meditations "On Hunting": "One does not hunt in order to kill. One kills in order to have hunted."

A large part of the whole hunting shtick for me is to stay connected--not "re-connect"--to those thousands of generations of forebears who sat around a campfire telling windies about past hunts.

In a way, zoos are neat. At the same time, it's sorta sad to see animals in cages.

Me, I've always tried to avoid cages...


March 1, 2007, 03:57 PM
Well said Art.
Cowboys have been catching mustangs and breaking them. I know it is not exactly the same as wild elephants but similar.

I don't think the way the average American thinks is evolved. I think it is declined. Some Hollywood version of right and wrong is fumigating the public over the media about hunting. THEY call that evolved or enlightened.

To hunt is one of our deepest primordial instincts. THEY still eat without questioning how that animal died.

I agree that deer and elk are symbols of the great outdoors not the stock pen.

I just hope some of us remember and pass on the privilege of hunting these great icons of the American outdoors, and fight to keep it available.

March 2, 2007, 03:20 PM
That said a neighbour of mine found a baby antelope once that was apparently abandoned took it home and fed it and took care of it and it thought it was a dog for the longest time. It slept on the front step with the dog and played with the kids and everything. I guess it nearly broke the little guys heart when they took him for a drive in the old truck and had to release him back into the wild.
This unfortunate antelope likely died soon after release. Though animals are born with many basic instincts, they learn a lot from the parentsjust as we do..such as what a "danger / threat" is, what to do when threatened, what's good to eat / what is poison, appropriate fear of humans, etc. Wild animals can be raised domestically and turned to natural habitat to thrive, but only if done carefully by an experienced professional. It is most likely that this animal either wasted and died, or immediately picked off by a predator. Your best action if you think you have found an abandoned wild animal, as hard as it may be to do, is to leave it alone and let nature take its course right away....its mother may actually be nearby out of your sight anyway.

March 15, 2007, 10:38 PM
Well, I don't have any deer roping stories, but I did try to tackle one once... :D I grew up in the country as an only child--it made for some real creative thinking for entertainment at times.

So there I was, laying out on a limb of a really big ponderosa pine, figuring uot what else to do for the afternoon that might get me killed... When all of a sudden, a muley doe walked right under me on the game trail below and stopped. She could smell me but couldn't figure out where I was--probably because us humans don't normally hang out in trees. Well, that answered my quest for something that might get me killed. So I rolled off the branch, dropping about 10 feet to the ground, grabbing the doe around the neck as I landed. What a brilliant decision! A lesser idiot would have let go after the doe bolted and kicked the snot out of them. An even lesser idiot than that would have just stayed on the limb and thought "cool, I could jump on that deer like a cougar if I really wanted to..."---and then NOT try. Me? I hang on till I got bounced off a couple trees, stomped into the dirt in the worst way, and then lost the battle between me and a big rock. And the topper for my redneck heritage---my first thought after was NOT "wow, that was really dumb". It was "Man, it sucks nobody saw that, now nobody is gonna believe it!"

Yah, I had an interesting childhood... :D

March 15, 2007, 11:12 PM
Good story Rangefinder,

I bought a old trapping book when I was young that shows lots traps that would no way be legal in todays world. One is a rope noose type of setup, affixed to a bent over sapling as a sling kinda to snag a deer by the leg and hold it till you return.
I always thought that was interesting but never tried it.

Art Eatman
March 16, 2007, 11:10 AM
Rangefinder, you're obviously a member in good standing of the "Hold my beer and watch this!" club.

Better to be your driver than your passenger. :D


March 16, 2007, 11:46 AM
So Art, do I get bonus qualifier points for my "Punching a Moose" story? How about kicking a black bear--got one of those too! :D Yah, I'm secure in my "hold my beer and watch this" status---use to be anyway. I'm not quite the immortal little rubber-person I use to be. Decided a Darwin Award wasn't really a goal I wanted to achieve... LOL

March 16, 2007, 12:53 PM
How about "Here's your sign?"

March 16, 2007, 01:03 PM
Naw, I think in my younger years it would have been more like "here, guard my billboard...". :D