Four years and several scores ago, shortly after bringing forth most of my worldly possessions to Powell, I wrote a column offering advice for others relocating to the area. In it, I shared my newfound wisdom of all things Wyoming that I had discovered during the transition process.
One of those observations concerned appreciating the subtle differences between the region’s two distinctive species of deer — those standing near the highway and those standing on the highway. Doing my best to channel the spirit of Nostradamus, I prophetically forecast that it wasn’t a question of if I’d ever hit something while driving my vehicle on area roads, only a question of when, where and what.
For those of you keeping track in the off chance this becomes the answer to Final Jeopardy somewhere down the line, the ‘when’ was last Thursday at around 6:30 p.m. after leaving the conclusion of Powell’s season-opening track meet. The ‘where’ was, surprisingly, not inside the city limits of Cody, but up the scenic North Fork valley, a destination I selected because I wanted to see if there was any wildlife that I could view on the seasonably warm day.
If you’re really quiet and listen carefully, you can almost hear irony laughing.
The ‘what,’ naturally, was one of the region’s many deer. Normally this would be cause for consternation, but considering there were roughly 16 of the little buggers, and that they were walking on a bridge — yes, a bridge. Isn’t that against the rules of fair play?
In any event, I prefer to view the the situation from the glass-half-full perspective. I did not hit a deer. I miraculously missed 15 of them. The fact so many escaped with fur unruffled is nothing short of a minor miracle.
Besides, it’s baseball season. Unless you’re Yu Davrish, a one-hitter is a pretty good performance.
Also, within 15 minutes of the event, I also had elk, moose and a wandering bison on the roadway, so bumping Bambi No. 16 really didn’t seem like such a bad thing in the overall scheme of life. After all, the culprit did little more than sit its rear end down atop my hood as my car skidded to a halt and everything in the back seat flew forward for a better look.
I can even happily report that no deer were actually harmed in the making of this column as the unfortunate ungulate quickly recovered to bounce into the safety of the forest. Undoubtedly, upon its arrival, it received high-fives from its cohorts in crime and honorary membership into that secret deer fraternity Kappa Nu Kar.
Auto bodies being constructed as they are out of aluminum foil these days, the same cannot be said for my vehicle. For those wondering, the current market price for a genuine Yellowstone-area original bas counter-relief of deer derriere is just a tad over $1,800.
In any event, with this encounter now out of the way, I can cross one more item off the bucket list of things which I need to accomplish before I consider myself to be fully qualified as a resident of Park County. Next on the list is horseback riding.