December 12, 2012
Aaron Brown of Laurel Fork killed his first deer on Dec. 3 and he didn’t even have to leave the comfort of his own home. Brown’s harvesting of Bambi was an unwanted one, however, after the animal jumped through a bedroom window and wreaked all sorts of havoc in the house before Brown was able to put the animal down with a shotgun blast.
“It was pretty crazy. I have never had an adrenaline rush like that,” Brown said. “I’ve been on every roller coaster ride I could go on and done all kinds of crazy things, but I’ve never had an adrenaline rush like that.”
Brown said many years from now he hopes to look back on the event and laugh, but right now he finds nothing funny about the harrowing episode, which began about 5 p.m. on a Monday afternoon. As his almost 2-year-old daughter was asleep in the house, the rest of the family was gathered outside in the front yard. Aaron’s, and his wife Jenny’s, 7-year-old boy was crouched down outside playing when the deer jumped over the boy, grazing his hand, before plowing through the oldest girl’s bedroom window.
Making the deer’s escape route straight into a window even more mind-boggling, Brown said, is the fact that the house is on the top of a hill in the open, surrounded by fields.
“There were ample directions for the deer to run straight through open fields, yet it headed for the one obstacle in its path. It proceeded to trash the bedroom as it was bleeding quite heavily, glass and blood everywhere. I went into the house through the front door and went for my shotgun, not sure whether I would need it or not,” Brown said. “When I came out of my bedroom, I could hear it clamoring around in the kitchen. We startled each other as we both came around the corner simultaneously. It turned and ran straight at the back storm door, trying in vain to get out, then turned toward various other windows, amazingly not breaking anymore glass. As I was watching the carnage and mayhem, I was wondering what the insurance company would cover and what they wouldn’t. I decided that either way, I should try to get a shot at it.”
Brown then shot three times at the deer with his 12-gauge shotgun as the deer began to charge him. Brown said all three shots were fired within five seconds of each other. The deer died instantly after the third shot, ending the animal’s destructive path throughout the home.
Brown said the restoration company declared that clean up would take two to three days, and that doesn’t necessarily include carpet and flooring removal, professional laundering of the laundry and hand-sewn quilts, repainting and new flooring installation. Many items, including a couch and chair, were damaged beyond repair.
“It’s been pretty crazy as you can imagine,” said Brown, who has video of the deer’s antics from a security camera. “We think maybe our black lab was chasing it, but still, what deer runs into a crowd of people and then tries to go through a house? The deer was probably freaked out, but I know I was freaked out. Our little boy was really upset. He just kept going, ‘Noooooooo.’”
Brown said the sun was low at the time of the incident, so he figures the reflection on the window that the deer jumped through looked like the horizon. The animal was cut so bad from breaking the glass, Brown said it bled profusely throughout the house.
“There is blood everywhere. It’s on the undersides of chairs, on the bottom of the table, splatters on the wall as high as you can reach,” Brown said.
Unfortunately for Brown, the story doesn’t stop with the death of the deer. The owner of Brown Landscaping and Construction Inc., he quickly found out that of the 17 perils his insurance doesn’t cover, two of them are damage to personal belongings by animals and damage caused by firing a gun in your own home.
“A gunshot took out a chunk of our couch, which we found out is not covered. All the thousands of Legos being washed and disinfected and the quilts grandma made, none of that is covered, not even the cleaning of it. There were only two rooms in the house that weren’t torn up,” Brown said. “We have had to rip out the carpet in the bedroom, hallway, and living room as of this point. The hardwood floors were gouged so deep the insurance adjuster is going to completely replace them.”
While structural damage to the home by the deer will be covered, Brown admits to being frustrated with insurance companies. In March, the major hailstorm that hammered Laurel Fork did more than $50,000 in damage to personal and business property at the home, including the house, cars, trucks and outbuildings. The 50-minute hailstorm also stopped up the home’s gutters so badly it overflowed into the basement drain and flooded the basement. None of that was covered because the water didn’t come through the roof.
“When I was standing in the house watching this go on, I was wishing I knew what was covered. But it was tearing up our house and charging at me,” Brown said. “I am sitting there with a gun watching it destroy my stuff, it looks like it still has glass in it, it has broken antlers I can’t see, and I have no idea how in danger I am. I have watched these videos when animals attack and I have seen videos of deer killing dogs in their backyard. So I figured the best thing to do was stop what was going on.”