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[DPRG] Robo Deer

Subject: [DPRG] Robo Deer
From: Earl Bollinger earlwbollinger at attbi.com
Date: Sun Dec 29 07:34:01 CST 2002

That reminds me of the buck statue they have here in Grapevine.
My friend was here several years ago, and saw the statue in the woods near
downtown Grapevine and ever since then,
he says Grapevine is the greatest place to live because they have deer
running loose in the middle of the town.

  -----Original Message-----
  From: dprglist-admin at dprg.org [mailto:dprglist-admin at dprg.org]On Behalf Of
warm38 at juno.com
  Sent: Sunday, December 29, 2002 6:36 AM
  To: dprglist at dprg.org
  Subject: [DPRG] Robo Deer

  ----- Forwarded Message -----
  From: James Foster <fosterjames at earthlink.net>
  To: SACFLA-TB <sacfla at topica.com>
  Date: Sat, 28 Dec 2002 19:19:47 -0600
  Subject: sacfla Robo Deer a valuable tool for Florida wildlife commission

        Robo Deer a valuable tool for Florida wildlife commission
              Copyright © 2002 AP Online

             E-mail this story

        The Associated Press

        PANAMA CITY, Fla. (December 27, 2002 9:34 p.m. EST) - Tales of
Rudolph of red-nose fame, Dasher, Prancer and Santa's other tiny reindeer
dominate at Christmas time, but have you heard of the strangest deer of all?
        He's Robo Deer. The mechanical decoy helps Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission officers nab poachers and deter the illegal shooting
of Rudolph's real-life cousins at night and from vehicles.

        The stories of his exploits have multiplied since 1995 when the
agency began using the devices. Robo Deer follows in the hoof-steps of a
couple of less realistic versions. The first was a cardboard cutout with
some burlap on it.

        "It was worth maybe $2," commission Lt. Stan Kirkland said. "It was
amazing how many people shot at it."

        Next was a deer replica similar to those archers can buy as practice
targets, but it had no moving parts.

        Then came Robo Deer, which can turn its head and twitch its tail.
The stories quickly followed.

        "We had an officer report there was someone in a truck watching the
replica," Kirkland said. "He took a long gaze and then floorboarded his
vehicle. He ran through these pines and oaks, ran over the decoy, and
destroyed it."

        The motorist had to buy the state a replacement.

        Another driver just missed running over it.

        "Then the guy all of the sudden slammed on the brakes, vaults out of
the truck, takes out a big sheath knife, tackles it, and knocks it to the
ground," Kirkland said. "The head rolls off."

        The man got up mumbling about game officers and drove off. No arrest
was made because there's nothing illegal about tackling a deer.

        Another man saw the deer and stopped his truck, got out and crawled
on his belly across a ditch filled with water to within 20 feet.

        "You'd think by now he'd get the message when this thing doesn't run
that it's not real," Kirkland said. "He reaches back into his pocket, whips
out this little pistol you couldn't kill a snake with, and plinks away at
the decoy."

        As the arrests grew, so did the legend. Officers get calls from
people claiming they spotted Robo Deer, much like Elvis, in places he's
never been.

        "A lot of them want to us to know we didn't fool them," Kirkland
said. "Then they want to know how we're able to get him to jump fences.
That's when we just grin and bear it and say 'It's a secret, and we can't
discuss that.'"


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