Friday, September 28, 2012

Deer park provides close interaction with nature

Cardinal Staff

Although spotting deer on Saint Mary’s University’s campus is common, it’s generally difficult to get up close and personal with the creatures.

The Lefty Hymes Memorial Deer Park, located near Prairie Island Campground, provides such an up close experience. The deer park is about the size of a football field and is surrounded by 12-foot fences that contain numerous deer, including two bucks.  This pen includes a man-made shelter for the deer along with feed troughs and an elevated patch of land in the case of a flood.

“The experience is terrifying and awesome at the same time,” said SMU junior Mitch Lawler.

Due to continued exposure to humans, the deer are fairly docile and approach visitors regularly, even allowing people to pet and feed them.  The real challenge comes with visiting at a time when the deer are most active: dusk and dawn.

Lawler was disappointed that visitors are not allowed in the pen, which is a safety precaution taken by the park.  He said, “It wasn’t the Snow White-ness I was hoping for, but still acceptable.”

The park was established in 1974 in memory of Henry G. “Lefty” Hymes by the Will Dilg chapter of the Izaak Walton League, a non-profit conservation organization.

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