Maybe This Deer on the Beach is Just Trying to Enjoy His Summer, Can't We Cut Him Some Slack?

A deer on the beach isn't a typical expectation, but really, what's the big deal?

The internet is, frankly, a little obsessed with a recent incident in Saugatuck Dunes State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan.

A (not so) wild deer was captured on video, nonchalantly wading ankle-deep in the water among tons of people.

It is summer, after all, when Americans and their kids typically vacation to areas like this. It was a busy place full of, you know, people with cell phones.

What happened was par for the course in 2019: videos and photos were snapped, and a bit of virality took hold.

Saugatuck Dunes isn't a huge state park, covering about 1,000 acres, but animals finding refuge in such a place shouldn't be too bizarre, should it?

The area has no discernible hunting season, at least not this time of year, so there's no wonder how the deer found its way there, nor why it likely decided to stay.

But then summer arrived, and all those kids no longer had daily school requirements, and Michiganders sought the cooling and entertaining features of the Great Lakes. Is it so shocking that a deer would do the same?

In reality, the deer doesn't seem to have all its wits about him. There's a little lethargy in his movements, and he just doesn't look like he's acting like a normal buck should.

The actions of the deer got the attention of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, which is now actively monitoring the young buck that's about as accustomed to human presence as a pet dog.

According to

Holly Vaughn, an MDNR wildlife communication coordinator, said the division is considering a number of options for dealing with the buck if it becomes a safety hazard to humans.

One of those options could be chemically immobilizing, or tranquilizing, the buck.

Katie Papke was the one who shot the video above. She told MLive that the deer simply walked to the water from the dunes and hung around the beachgoers for more than 30 minutes. At one point, it even licked one girl's leg.

If there's truly something wrong with the deer (heaven forbid it be CWD, the fatal disease perplexing hunters and wildlife agency nearly nationwide), then we're glad the DNR is keeping watch. But if there proves to be nothing strange going on, maybe he could just be left alone?

As far as we understand, no one "put" the deer there, but the people enjoying the state park should at least consider the fact that they're the ones doing the encroaching. Especially in other parts of Michigan, deer populations are having a tough time, and finding places to just be a deer is becoming more difficult.

They've got a lot to worry about: wild lands getting scooped up for development, roads and highways being built across typical travel routes, and the eventual hunting season starting in a couple months, to name a few.

In other words, we're pleased to see the DNR hasn't jumped to any quick conclusions and is using the "monitoring" strategy. Here's hoping things turn out fine, and no one, animal or human, gets hurt.