Doctor, Deer Collide on Ski Trail
CARRABASSETT VALLEY, Maine - Dr. Ray Stone had no warning before he was knocked off his feet last month while skiing down the Haulback Trail at Sugarloaf/USA. "My first thought was, 'What hit me?...a (snow) boarder? drunk skier? linebacker?'" Stone wrote in a letter to The Irregular, a weekly newspaper in Kingfield.
It was none of the above. A whitetail deer attempting to cross the trail crossed paths with Stone as he was making a turn.
"I just never saw this deer coming," Stone said Friday. "I was going pretty quick down the top half of Haulback, arcing from left to right and all of the sudden I just got knocked right off my feet and I was falling."
The deer also went down.
"Its legs were just pumping away really fast, they never stopped moving," said Stone, a family practice doctor who lives in New Gloucester and works at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.
The collision was witnessed by skiers riding in a chairlift, said longtime Maine skier and ski writer Dan Cassidy, whose story about the incident eventually prompted Stone to write in that he was the skier who hit the deer.
Cassidy, who has been skiing in Maine for 45 years, said he had never before heard of a deer-skier collision.
"Never, never, never," Cassidy said. "I've never even heard of anybody encountering a deer on a ski trail, especially an alpine trail. I've seen an animal, like a fox, come out on occasion but never a deer."
Stone recalled people hollering at him from the lift, which prompted him to raise his fist and pump it in the air to let them know he was OK.
He then skied down to meet his wife, Diane, at the chairlift. She was skiing ahead of him and hadn't seen the collision.
When he told her he had just run into a deer on the slope her first question was, "Is the deer all right?"
Stone said the deer quickly bounced back to its feet and continued across the trail and into the woods.
"It never stopped running even though it was down," Stone said. "Luckily we just glanced off each other. I'm just glad the deer wasn't hurt."
Re: Doctor, Deer Collide on Ski Trail
If it would have been Del Rio he would have broken the deer's neck and then drug it down the mountain.