Columnists, Tyler Mahan, V5I1

Oh, Deer!

The three of us left the shop at about 4:45 that November morning to build a 12 by 24 Side Loft Barn near the town of Marlow, Oklahoma. After checking to make sure everything was strapped tightly, we swung out onto the highway and began the one-hour trip to the jobsite. 

As we passed through Pauls Valley, we stopped in and let Ronald McDonald feed us breakfast. With our bellies full, we continued our journey!

The nice lady I had spoken to the evening before had given me very good directions and informed me that her home was just across from the boat dock on Lake Humphreys.

 This area has three large lakes: Lake Fuqua, Clear Creek Lake, and Lake Humphreys. Around those lakes are some protected areas with no hunting allowed. That is an important detail for my little story. 

We turned at the little church where our customer had instructed me to turn and then weaved down the road right next to Lake Humphreys. The sky was beginning to turn pink in the east as we made our way slowly down the winding road looking for the address. I spotted the boat dock and then our target home. I pulled the truck and trailer up the driveway and was met by a couple of really nice ladies, sisters, who lived there. 

After exchanging pleasantries, we began unstrapping everything and trying to get a start on what promised to be a pretty long day. 

Suddenly, we spotted a deer. Then another. Then, another and another and another. The backyard was teeming with deer! Of course, we whipped out our smartphones and began snapping pictures and taking video, expecting them to run along any moment. 

Our customers informed us that they fed these deer out of their hands. Kylar had to try it. So, they gave him a cup with some corn in it, and he was able, after a little coaxing, to feed a small buck and pet him on the nose. We were having a great time. 

Reality set in and it was decided that we would never finish the building as long as we were playing with the deer. We started hauling stuff across the yard to the building location. I expected the deer would be deterred by the loud noise of the compressor and nail guns. I was wrong. As we built the floor, they just foraged around in the backyard a few yards away from us. 

They watched us scurry back and forth in the yard for a while, and then went off to do whatever deer do all day. Throughout the day, they would pass back through to check on our progress. Around lunchtime, several turkeys wandered through to see how we were doing. They gobbled their way around the yard and went on their way. 

Toward evening, the deer came back and brought some more friends to see the new building. I can’t tell you how many deer there were in that yard during the course of the day. It was the first time in my over 15 years of building sheds in people’s backyards that I have ever worried about deer damaging sheet goods laying on the ground during an onsite. 

We finished up the building a little before dark and said our goodbyes to the friendly customers. Thus ended another day in the life of a shed builder.



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