If you need a reason to add standard grates to your window well, a close call in Idaho showcases just how dangerous these exterior “pits” can be. In Pocatello, Idaho at the end of 2014, it looked like Santa’s sleigh got pulled seriously off course when two bucks were discovered trapped and scared in a local window well. Police with the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, along with the state’s Fish and Game department, rescued the wild game from a home along Mink Creek.
It only took 15 minutes for the rescue, but there’s no telling how long the two bucks had been struggling. Initially, the officials considered tranquilizing the animals first, then moving them to a location far from the residents, but it turns out the bucks were more than happy to go on their merry way with a little help (no tranquilizer darts needed).
When Rough Housing Goes Wrong
According to Merritt Horsmon, Senior Conversation Officer with the Fish and Game Department, the bucks were likely sparring when they fell into the well. This is common during the holiday season, when rutting is going full force. However, male bucks are aggressive and not as careful as they normally are during November and December. They can cause issues with motorists, hikers, bikers-and of course, homeowners with window wells.
Horsmon says, “I’ve been on calls where a buck will lock antlers and attempt to spar with a badminton net.” In Mink Creek, the deer population has exploded recently, which has led to some adjustments (from both the human and deer side). Game Management Unit 70 oversees the region, and it’s a supreme spot for deer hunting. In 2014, more than 1,600 sportsmen filed applications to hunt in the area.
“Bucking” the Trends
For the most part, deer control is being managed, but there will come times when humans and wildlife collide in unexpected ways. Plus, with a number of residents feeding deer, it’s bringing the two worlds closer together. It’s one thing to enjoy catching a deer grazing your yard, and quite another to welcome them by intentionally feeding them. “When you feed deer, you will eventually attract their predators,” warns Horsmon.
Both at home and on the road, residents should be careful of roaming deer. Horsmon says, “You should always give them a wide berth. This goes for all wildlife, year-round, not just during the rut.” An auto collision with a deer can be deadly, and trying to free a bucks darts yourself from a window well will likely leave you looking like you lost a round with Mayweather.