DEER CONTINUES TO ROAM
BACK PRACTICE FIELDS AT JT
The official mascot at John Tyler High School may be the mighty lion,
but don't tell Sarah - a white-tailed deer - and her four-legged
friends, who roam the back practice fields of the school's property.
Law enforcement officers responded to a call Friday morning from a
service worker who had spotted Sarah and believed she was trapped in a
fenced area of the school.
However, Don Broyles, the school's groundskeeper, said he named the deer
about five years ago when he first spotted her early in the morning.
"They (law enforcement) need to just leave her alone. She comes in here
every morning and has been for at least five years. She has twin babies
this year and I see them and other deer in here all the time," he said.
Leanne Winkenwerder, Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife game warden,
said she was called out by Tyler police who had received a 911 call
about the deer.
"We thought she might be in trouble, but it seems she (Sarah) is well
known. As long as she's not in danger, then we aren't going to move
her," she said.
Sarah became agitated when a curious eye got too close and she would run
the fence line in an effort to put distance between herself and those
trying to take a closer look.
"When someone tries to get too close to her, she panics, and she has in
the past run into the fence trying to get away. She isn't hurting
anything," Broyles said.
Broyles said he gets a kick out of watching the doe and her friends on
the fields early in the morning.
"You can sit here and watch them just play. Those babies of hers get out
there on the practice field and just have a good time," he said.
Leonard Spurling, Tyler Independent School District police officer, said
he has also seen the deer on the property in years past.
"Who called the police? This isn't anything new. These deer have been
out here for years. Like Don said, 'We invaded their property, not the
other way around,'" he said.
Spurling showed the game warden how the deer make their way back into a
wooded area where water is plentiful and hiding spaces abundant.
"They venture out onto the field in the mornings and then come back here
later in the day," he said as he walked down a trail in a wooded area
adjacent to the school's property.
Broyles said he has taken care of the property's grounds for years, but
he is not in charge.
"Sarah runs the show - she is the star. She is running the John Tyler
fields now, not me," he said.
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