Campus deer. They’re a breed separate from the modern-day nuisance of city deer. They are leaps and bounds different from the frolicking, fun-loving, Bambi-esque deer of the wild. Campus deer are the redneck cousins of those deer — ironic considering they live on the grounds of an educational institution. They’re obnoxious, dirty. They forgo the diet of leaves and grass for waffle fries and half-eaten Ham Kick It sandwiches from Biblio. They don’t scare easily. Worst of all: they get drunk.
There’s no shortage of liquor bottles on campus the day after a party. We’ve all seen deer on Saturday and Sunday mornings, walking around residence buildings. The more naive among us assume the deer are grazing, but take a closer look: it’s the not-quite-empty beer cans they’re after. On my way to the library just last Sunday, I saw a female deer throwing up beside Felicita’s patio after drinking too much Doe’s Equis. Another deer stumbled and kicked a discarded two-six of Jägermeister with its front hoof. In rutting season, I’ve seen bucks stagger into parked road bikes, short trees and some of UVic’s more diminutive faculty members.
Although they are relatively large creatures, it takes very little alcohol to get a buck drunk. They lack fat and are pure sinew. Carrie Boo, who is completing her PhD in biology, said of the situation, “Deer are adaptable. It’s no surprise they’re addicted to leftover alcohol. Their adaptivity comes from their addictive personalities. The alcohol will most likely enhance their reproductive urges, and if we don’t take action, these campus deer could be just as much of a problem as the rabbits were.”
Boo was right in her prediction. Not five minutes after the interview, two bucks were seen staggering towards a cluster of does. The bucks wore white-rimmed shades, and one carried an old ghetto blaster in his antlers that blared a Barry White-tail CD.
Some students have been traumatized by the campus deer. Tim Buckley, a second-year fine arts student, has been “harassed” by one of the larger does. She followed him home on a number of occasions and tried attacking his girlfriend. Other students are simply concerned. I ran into Jane Elkhorn, a first-year history student, on her way back from class, and she said, “It’s not the deer’s fault. People need to stop throwing half-empty beer cans around residence on Friday nights.” However, before we could finish our interview, a small buck hooked her bag with his antlers and fled the scene with her two-six of Malibu rum.
The campus deer aren’t dying, but they’re hurt. Herds are becoming dysfunctional, overly aroused and aggressive. The university has stepped up and notified PETA. The animal rights organization is setting up AA meetings and organizing a benefit song: “No poachers, no Pilsner, just love.”