I was up in the Sandias as usual on Saturday morning. I was doing my 'go to' trail, the South Crest. It's the one I fall back on when I'm by myself and I just want a quick hike with solitude and beauty. Even during the summer, it is not frequented as much as other trail. But during the winter, if you go in the early morning when it is cold, you won't meet anyone until you're three quarters of the way back.
I was doing the six mile hike that is my kind of "I'm just getting a workout in" hike. When its been snowing as it was this week, very rarely do people go beyond the 2 mile mark. While there wasn't much snow, there weren't any human foot prints after that point. But there were animal prints. I thought they might be coyote prints.
The first couple of miles is pretty good climbing. Then it sort of levels out and scallops along a series of valleys for another mile until you get to the next climb. I was at the point of the first of these valleys when it happened.
Scene of the Incident
I heard this thumping and crashing sound. I looked straight ahead to the point just left of that bush with the gold leaves. Two buck mule deer with full sets of antlers were tearing down the valley and heading right for me on the trail where I was standing (where this picture was taken from. There is a drop off to my left and a hillside to the right.
I lifted on of my hiking poles like a spear and gave a loud deep voiced shout...something like Haaa. (Why I did this I have no idea). One of the deer bolted to my left down the trail.
The other just avoided me by going over the slope to my right
The whole incident took 5, maybe 7 seconds. I stood there for a while and reflected that one of those bucks hitting me with their antlers was probably not going to have been good for my health. Too bad Dad is gone, he would have gotten a kick out of the story.