A deer home invader is the last thing you would expect, but it happened in Tennessee.
Most hunters are against the concept of invading the bedding area, because it represents a major breach of a whitetail herd's security. In hunting a bedding area, you are essentially killing a deer while their guard is down, and in many cases, that move can spook deer to such an extent that they abandon the bedding area and the entire surrounding property altogether. Sure, we're always stepping into whitetail habitats and hunting them where they live, but there is a big difference between strategically hunting a deer at home and hunting it while it sleeps in its bedding area.
But whether we as hunters consider ourselves home invaders when we step into whitetail habitat, we certainly don't ever expect to be on the other side of the transaction. Deer are supposed to remain in their habitat, and we are supposed to hunt them there, with few exceptions. Whitetails may occasionally wander away from their habitats and end up in our backyards or in the middle of our roads, but we don't imagine them ever coming closer than that and actually entering our homes.
However, home invasion at the hands (hoofs?) of a deer is precisely what a family of five from Tennessee experienced recently after returning from a holiday vacation, according to WCMTV. When the family - Chad and Leigh Smith, their three children, and a dog - returned to their home, they were alarmed to find it a scene of forced reentry and destructive vandalism. However, the thief in this particular case was not a robber or a criminal, but a whitetail doe, taking refuge behind the Smith family couch.
According to Chad Smith, the family patriarch, the deer was resting leisurely when the family arrived, but more or less lost its mind when she caught sight of them. The doe then proceeded to rip through the house like a bull in a china shop, crashing into windows, televisions, and every other obstacle - and bloodying herself up in the process - all in an effort to find a way out of the house. By the time the ordeal was finished, the Smith family household looked like it had played host to either a particularly vicious wrecking ball or to a destructive hurricane or tornado. Suffice to say that the house and most of the family's first-floor belongings were not in the best of shape.
Sadly, neither party escaped the situation unscathed. The Smiths' home was left a mess of overturned furniture, broken glass, and bloody walls, while the deer only survived long enough to get out of the house. The family called a local game warden to help coerce the deer out of the house. However, even the game warden couldn't get the doe to calm down enough to return to her old life. After exiting the front door, the doe collapsed in the yard and passed away, a death that the game warden believes was caused by a stress-induced heart attack. The doe was so afraid that she worked herself to death trying to get out of the house.
Precisely how the doe got into the house has not yet been revealed in the news. The Smith family is working now to clean up their house and salvage the carpet, furniture, and electronics that they can.