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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Buck Falls Off Rt. 287 Overpass

By George Osgood-
Star Gazette
Wellsboro Bureau

TIOGA -- Long-time hunters will attest that sometimes, a big buck just falls into their laps. It’s just a matter of time, chance and place.

But Wellsboro legal secretary Kasey Dunham, who doesn’t hunt at all, tells a better story: One of a huge buck that almost fell onto her car on Route 287 in an incident witnessed by dozens of motorists on Monday afternoon, the first day of Pennsylvania’s two-week rifle deer season.

The deer, it seems, somehow got onto the overpass that carries the access ramp to Route 15 over Route 287 in Tioga Township at about 3:30 Monday afternoon. Dunham, with her daughter, Kaylee and mother, Holly Schoonover of Westfield, planned to do some shopping. As they approached the overpass, something very strange happened.

“The deer fell off the overpass,” Kasey said. “It landed right in front of us on the blacktop. My first thought was that it fell off a pickup truck or something, that it was a deer a hunter had shot and was taking home.

“It landed on its back, with all four feet pointing straight up in the air,” she said. “Then it stood up. That was quite the shock.

“Cars and trucks were stopping all around,” she said. “Hunters were getting out and looking like they couldn’t believe their eyes. It was the biggest deer I ever saw. It looked like a cow with antlers. I couldn’t believe it hadn’t broken its back.”

The overpass is at least 30 feet above Route 287. The deer, stunned, stayed put for a few seconds.

“How it got on the overpass, I don’t know,” Kasey said. “After it stood up, it put its head down. Then it picked its head up and crossed the road, and it jumped over the guardrail and ran away. Hunters jumped out of their cars and watched. People were staring at it like they couldn’t believe it. I just know that if I was a few seconds faster, it would have landed on my car. It landed right in my lane.

“And girls’ shopping day almost turned into the day I got my buck,” she said. “It was something I will never forget.

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