Barre farmer raised friendly deer that has become sensation at Point Breeze
BARRE – The deer at Point Breeze that has become a local social media star by accepting food and being petted by strangers was raised by a farmer in Barre.
The farmer bottled-fed the deer after he found it lying alone in a field in June 2016. He brought the deer to his farm.
“He would hang out with the cows,” the farmer said.
His grandson was the one who gave the deer the most attention, including bottle feeding it as if it was a baby calf.
“I was out spraying and it was just laying in the field,” said the farmer, who requested anonymity because he fears a $2,000 fine from the Department of Environmental Conservation.
The deer hung around the Barre farm for almost a year until this April, when he saw some other deer and joined them.
“He could always roam free,” the farmer said. “We never penned him up. We were amazed when he took off.”
The farmer has several videos on his phone showing the deer with his grandson and other family members at the farm. One video shows the deer drinking water from a birdbath. Others show him walking right up to family members.
The farmer called the deer, “Bambi.”
The deer seemed to first head towards Clarendon after it left the Barre farm. There were lots of sightings of “Bambi” in the Holley area in May. In June, people started posting pictures and videos of the deer at Point Breeze.
The Point Breeze community has nicknamed the deer, “Breezy.” He has been there for at least two months.
“He’s a beggar,” the farmer said. “He loves carrots.”
The farmer has seen many of the photos of “Breezy” and he is certain it’s the deer he raised at the farm. He said the deer lost some fur at the farm after it rubbed against a barn. That fur grew back white where it was light brown. The farmer sees the white markings in the photos of the deer.
The farmer also said the deer is a gelding after being banded at the farm. Breezy shouldn’t became aggressive like many male deer in the mating season, the farmer said.
“He’s harmless,” the farmer said. “We had a lot of fun with him.”
Health officials have warned the public not to get too close to the deer because it could be carrying ticks, and may become aggressive, especially in the mating season.
The farmer and his family have driven to Point Breeze a few times, trying to find the deer. Every time they go, they can’t find him.
The farmer worries about the upcoming deer season, that “Bambi” could be shot.
The deer should be OK if it stays in Point Breeze near the residences, he said.
“If he goes out in the country it will be open season,” the farmer said.
He has mixed thoughts about taking in the deer more than a year ago.
“I always wanted a pet deer,” he said. “But it really wasn’t a smart thing to do.”