The suggested scenic drives from Door County northwest to Boulder Junction were indeed scenic. Wisconsin’s tourist bureau was spot-on. Upon arrival in the small fishing/hunting town of Boulder Junction, we saw three does, two bucks, and two fawns cross the road in front of us as we pulled into the Boulder Junction Motor Lodge for our night’s stay. I quickly parked the car and crossed the street to see where the deer had wandered off into the woods. They didn’t seem bothered as I watched them feed on the leaves as I photographed them.
Later, when we returned from the laundromat (a necessary evil when traveling for a total of five weeks), we noticed those same deer had crossed back over and were munching on the front lawn grass right there at the lodge! When I pulled into the lot, they had migrated toward the back of the motel. I quickly parked and walked around to the back of the opposite end of the building, hoping to head them off and catch a glimpse. Bruce joined me, and we stopped to watch as they were heading right toward us! Holding my camera in both hands down in front of me, I froze. I didn’t want to spook them by moving, so I figured it was better to just watch than try to get a shot.
As I stood there with Bruce behind me, a doe walked out in front of the others and came right up to me! After a quick lick of my hand, she quickly took a couple of steps back. Shocked, I asked Bruce to take my camera and see if he could get a shot while I tried to lure the doe back. It didn’t take much effort! I reached out my hand slowly, and she returned for another lick. Then, she kept on licking! This was no dog licking me; it was a DEER!
Meanwhile, one of the bucks sauntered right by us and kept on going through the parking lot without a care in the world. He decided to do his own thing, I guess, because he casually strutted into the road on his way into the woods on the other side. When a car approached at speeds fast enough for my heart to skip a few beats, I thought I was about to see a bloodbath. Thankfully, the car stopped just in the nick of time. Do you think that deer was long gone by then? Nooo! He stood there staring that car down and didn’t budge an inch as if to say, “Yes, I DO own the whole damn road!” Once he made his point with the stare-down, he meandered his way into the woods with no sense of urgency.
What the heck is going on here with those deer, anyway?
I excitedly told my story to the gal at the motel’s reception desk thinking something really amazing and special had just happened. “A deer licked my hand and didn’t get scared off by my presence! I was even able to grab my camera and take some shots without them running off!!” I exclaimed.
Responding with a look of total boredom, the receptionist casually replied, “Oh yeah, that happens all the time. They’re known around here as the ‘Townies,’ and they live in the woods behind the lodge. They are always hanging out around town. Everybody watches out for them here.” She then agreed that they DO own the whole damn road!
Next up: ASHLAND’S HISTORY THROUGH MURALS