No, that’s not a pet deer.
Robert Pope of Angier, North Carolina, was on vacation with his family in September near Lake Harmony in the Poconos when he noticed deer in the yard near their condo.
“I’d never seen deer act this way,” he told McClatchy news group.
Pope threw out some trail mix for them, then tossed it a little closer to the porch the next night.
They kept eating — all the way through a five-pound bag of apples — until one night the family heard “footsteps” on the porch.
“I opened the door and he was on the back porch waiting,” Pope said.
The eight-point Buck was so close Pope thought he might walk right into the condo.
They were out of trail mix, apples and grapes, so he grabbed for what they had left — Cheez-Its.
“Cheez-Its were not my first choice,” he said. “I ran out of healthy food and one came literally knocking on the door.”
His wife, Michelle Pope, captured the moment on camera.
Wildlife experts don’t recommend feeding deer in the winter as their activity levels “naturally decrease” along with their appetites, according to the Tufts Wildlife Clinic.
Such changes in their diet can negatively impact their digestive system, the clinic said, and congregating in high numbers at a single feeding location can make them “more vulnerable to predators.”
But Pope said he didn’t mean any harm, and if the opportunity presented itself again he wouldn’t hesitate to do the same thing.
“I’ve never shot a deer, I’m not a hunter,” he said. “I’m an animal lover. I’m a tender-hearted person.”
Pope said Lake Harmony is near a state-owned piece of land where the deer aren’t hunted, meaning they are wild but have never heard a gunshot.
The deer still got spooked around too much noise and movement, but he said they stuck around as long as everyone stayed still.
His father-in-law, who Pope described as an avid hunter, said their friend who came looking for snacks on the porch was at least an eight-point buck.
“That’s a trophy if there ever was one,” Pope said.