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Spooked buck pays unwanted visit to Bethlehem home
Deer enters downtown home, shatters 3 windows.

By Matt Assad
Of The Morning Call

Artist Thomas Dorshimer always looked at deer as the kind of docile animals he'd sometimes paint into his landscape scenes to capture the serenity of nature.

That view changed quickly Saturday afternoon when one of those hairy creatures of nature crashed through the living room window of his downtown Bethlehem home and thrashed about in the first floor before blasting back out through a kitchen window.

''This was no Bambi,'' said Dorshimer. ''This was a six-point buck and I sure wasn't getting in his way. He was pretty spooked.''

Whether they've been displaced by development or simply wandered out of the woods for mating season, deer encroaching on urban areas is a problem in many areas, including the Lehigh Valley.

Dorshimer and his wife, Angie, got a little too close to nature just before 4 p.m. Saturday. That's when a buck crashed through the front window of their 257 E. Church St. home, in Bethlehem's downtown historic district.

By the time Dorshimer rushed in from the backyard to investigate the racket, the deer had cleared a high-back chair in the living room and greeted him in the dining room. As the frantic deer looked for a way out, Dorshimer opened the back door, hoping it would exit quietly.

Instead, it crashed halfway through a dining room window and got stuck. It finally crashed out a window in the breakfast nook, somehow found a way to unlatch the gate to the Dorshimers' 7-foot fence and rambled down Linden Street, Dorshimer said.

While Dorshimer watched from just a few feet away, his wife viewed the episode from the second-floor steps. The deer was in their home less than a minute, but it splattered its blood through the house and left a trail for blocks.

Police expected to find a dead deer at the end of the trail, but they didn't.

Though it crashed three windows, the deer didn't harm or knock over a single piece of furniture, Dorshimer said.

''He bounded through some pretty tight spaces without hitting anything,'' said Dorshimer, a retired artist whose most recent painting of Bethlehem's Colonial Industrial Quarter includes deer on the landscape. ''I'm not sure how he got the latch open. He probably just jiggled it a little.''

Dorshimer said he and his neighbors have noticed more deer the last few years since the nearby Moravian Village retirement community was built, eliminating a patch of woods just east of downtown.

Wildlife experts also note that the period between mid-October and the end of November is a deer mating season that will often prompt male deer to wander several miles out of their usual territory in search of doe.

It's not the first time neighbors in the Lehigh Valley have grappled with what to do about the growing urban deer population. In Salisbury Township, local officials are letting sportsmen keep deer numbers in check by allowing bowhunters in Franko Park and instituting a special youth hunting program for Walking Purchase Park, which covers more than 500 wooded acres on Lehigh Mountain between Allentown and Bethlehem.

And an east Allentown neighborhood group that says there are at least 100 deer living on the Allentown State Hospital grounds and in nearby Reservoir Park wants the state to help control a herd that has been eating flowers and bringing the threat of Lyme disease too close to home.

''They dart out in front of our cars, there's no point planting a garden, and one of my neighbors has terrible Lyme disease,'' said Donald Hinkle, who leads the group. ''It seems to get worse every year.''

Dorshimer doesn't have tips for those residents on how to get rid of the deer, but he has some advice on what they should do if one finds its way into their home.

''Just get the heck out the way,'' Dorshimer said. ''Believe me, you don't want to be messing with one of them.''

9,928 Posts
If it was an 8 or better it may not have made it out of my house!

I dont know how officer, but it crashed through the window and SOMEHOW seems to have impaled itself on this arrow.[confused][up]:D
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