How do you know when the whitetails are about to come in to rut? When you discover active scrapes in the woods? When you spot rubs high up on large cedar trees?
Yep, the rut's right around the corner, for sure!
It was about 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, when Bonnie McCullough and Brenda Adelson were in the process of concluding a vocabulary lesson with their class of 19 fifth graders.
"We heard this crash; I didn't know what to make of it," Ms. McCullough said. "It sounded like glass breaking, and I didn't have time to look too much, and there was this brown blur."
Without touching anyone, the deer charged straight through the room and headed through an open door, turning down the hallway.
The young buck's next stop was the infirmary, where he introduced himself to Rosalie Preuss, the school nurse.
"When he saw me, he started climbing in," Ms. Preuss told the New York Times. "I thought he'd back up, but he started coming forward, so I shut the door and went, 'Eek! Eek!'"
Something tells me nurse Preuss doesn't have a lot of experience with wild critters and the outdoors. Just call it a hunch.
The Asbury Park Press reports that police officers and several school employees finally captured the wayward buck in the empty cafeteria, using lunch tables to corral the bloodied animal, eventually guiding it out an open back door. Last seen, it was heading back into the woods.
No one was injured in the incident and we can only guess when the vocabulary lesson resumed, the words "deer," and "mating season" were all used in a sentence.
The quote of the day came from school principal Patricia O'Keefe, when she expressed relief that no one was hurt by the marauding whitetail.
"We are trained for all kinds of responses," she said. "We are not trained for a deer coming through a window."