The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

2007.10.24 Do you think deer would recognize a surrender flag?

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

Seen any deer crossing your path lately? Faithful readers of this space will recall several months ago when I wrote of the joys of spotting deer throughout Fulton County and the surrounding area. Perhaps I should have been clearer in my explanation.

I was referring to those deer who like to stand near the edge of a wooded area, survey the scene, then retreat slowly back into the forest, not those horse-sized freaks of nature who like to play some perverted deer-style Russian roulette with any passing vehicle. Or more specifically, my vehicle.

At least this time, the deer and I both won the game. He got to live and I was spared finding out if air bags still work when a car is nearly ten years old.

I was returning to Fayette after having dinner in West Unity on a recent Friday night when I decided to take a shortcut between U.S. 127 and Harrison Lake. Readers may remember my habit of checking up on the ducks at the park. This night, the ducks were hardly the main attraction.

I must have still been in Williams County because the deer in Fulton County certainly would have read of my friendship for them and spread the word by now, right? For whatever reason, a buck the size of a horse was suddenly crossing the oncoming lane like he was running down the backstretch  at Churchill Downs, sprinting for Kentucky Derby glory.

Before I had even the chance to finish the expletive that came to mind, the deer did a 180 and headed back the way he had come, a split-second from disaster. Only then did I have the opportunity to consider the situation.

I was lucky I was only going about 45 mph because if I had been going any faster, the momentum might have sent the deer sliding up the hood into my windshield. Or maybe 45 would have been plenty fast enough for this—I’m not a student of deer-Buick collision physics.

I do know the low, streamlined Park Avenue wouldn’t have had as good a chance of repelling the deer as my locomotive-like Caprice did seven years ago when it met one of approximately the same size near Palmyra. The Caprice lost its grille and other decorative doodads, but sent the deer on out of my way to its ultimate fate (I don’t know to this day whether or not it survived).

A few days ago, I read an article giving what they called simple tips to help avoid deer collisions. I love some of the advice these “helpful” guides provide.

The first tip in this one was “watch the clock,” meaning deer are most likely to be running in the hours just before and after sunrise and sunset. You could re-word this one to say “only leave home between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. to limit contact with deer.”

Then there was that old favorite, “don’t swerve.” In general, that is good advice if there’s oncoming traffic and you can’t slow down. But sometimes, a situation may call for it. About twenty years ago I was on a rural road near Jackson when I saw a deer in my lane far ahead. I let the car coast as I checked the surroundings for more deer. No more were found, and no other traffic was seen as I neared the deer, still in my lane.

By that time, my speed had dropped to about 35 mph, so I simply steered around him and went on my way.  Under those circumstances, hitting the animal instead of turning would have been wasteful, as well as senseless.

Next, came the advice to “sound your horn.” Unfortunately, many experts say deer are hard of hearing, one of the reasons those deer whistles some people attach to their vehicle don’t work, either.

Finally, I had to laugh at the advice to “wear your seat belt.” That’s certainly good general advice for anyone in a collision, but how is that going to help you avoid hitting a deer in the first place? Do they think deer have hidden cameras set up to look for unbelted drivers? “Hey, Bambi, the guy driving the blue Taurus isn’t buckled up. See if you can give him a scare!” I really doubt that’s how things work in the deer universe. Besides, I was wearing a seat belt during my collision and both near-misses. I just don’t see any extra advantage in collision avoidance here.

No, I think a more novel approach is in order. I’m  considering mounting a white flag near my front license plate. Unconditional surrender to the deer. An idea so stupid, it just might work.

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