Hammy the Deer

Being the ‘opposite of a procrastinator’ (a true liability!), I diligently wrote my December contribution for ‘We are the World Blogfest’ well in advance. I then discovered that #WATWBF takes a break in December…so I could have relaxed a bit more with eggnog in front of the fireplace! Since the tale of Hammy seemed appropriate for the Christmas season, I thought I would share it with you one month and one week in advance. Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy Christmas filled with warmth and kindness.

What is it about animals that can so deeply capture our attention…and our hearts?

Although I typically avoid the news, there is one story that I have actively followed since it began late last summer. That is the adventures of ‘Hammy’ the deer. (Yes, news about this guy even reached me in Spain.)

You can read one of the early stories about Hammy here or watch him on video.

In summary, last August 14, a buck became ensnared in a backyard hammock in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Although police were able to free the deer, he then ran off with a large chunk of hammock still attached to his antlers. At first, local authorities believed it best for the deer (affectionately dubbed ‘Hammy’) to be left as is, knowing that he would eventually shed his antlers. Later, concern arose that Hammy could become entangled with another stag if butting heads during mating season. The search to catch the buck and remove the remaining pieces of hammock lasted for over two months. During that time, Hammy was frequently spotted by locals but remained elusive to capture.

Quickly, the young buck’s fame spread far and wide. A Facebook Page was created for him. This was followed by t-shirts, Hallowe’en costumes, artwork, Christmas decorations…and much more!


In late November, authorities were finally able to free Hammy from his remaining purple twine. They then painted a section of his antlers a deep purple so that he could be tracked and his well-being assured.

You can read the complete story here.

Some scientists argue that human beings have an ‘inborn instinct’ or a ‘biochemical reaction’ that connects us with animals (source). Others suggest that our distinctly human capacity to infer the mental states of others is key to the human-animal bond (source). Whatever the reason, there is no question that animals have the ability to melt our hearts. If you are ever in doubt of this, just ask Hammy!

We Are the World Blogfest’ takes place the last Friday of each month. Its purpose is to “promote positive news stories that show compassion and the resilience of the human spirit.” You are invited to join in as a reader, a writer or both! I look forward to seeing you on January 26th at #WATWBF or #WATWB.

Photo Credits: 1) CBC, 2) George Baker/CBC 3) Shelly Samuels, 4)Dwayne MacNeill 5) Morgan Wilson.

37 Replies to “Hammy the Deer”

  1. 🙂 one of my all time favourites is Inky the octopus.
    At the cottage here, we have Skunk squirrel, a large black squirrel with a white stripe down his back who gets up to mischief. Never ending interest…
    happy holidays to my other favourite non-procrastinator!

    1. Hi, Ally – I greatly appreciate you commenting (especially during your blogging break). The purple hair streak is an outstanding idea–I was looking for something to waken up my hair colour and add to the festivities! Wishing you and Zen-Den a very relaxing holiday!
      Retirement Reflections recently posted…Hammy the DeerMy Profile

  2. What a wonderful story! I love it when people go to the extra steps to help animals like this. I also agree that somehow we are connected to animals. My grandson Nate’s request for this year’s birthday present was from an exotic animal organization that takes pets people thought they wanted but then wanted to be rid of. We all sat there in awe of the beauty of each bird, reptile or animal the company’s representative brought out. The highlight was when Stuffy the skunk would not come out from under the sofa.

    1. Hi, Fran – No wonder I like you so much! Your comment totally resonates with me. I agree that we are connected to animals in more ways than we often realize. I love when people go the extra mile to show their respect for animals (and I am completely disheartened when they do the opposite). As your grandson so wonderfully demonstrates, we have much to learn from children and animals. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Hi, Kate – Your deep respect and delight for animals, combined with your sharp sense of humour, makes me a regular reader of your blog. I’m glad you liked the tale of Hammy.
    BTW – Thank you about the warning about Santa…he can be very naughty that way!

  4. Wow, what a wonderful story, I had not heard about Hammy. I love that it captured so many hearts. And how cool that they painted his antler. It worked, my heart melted – I’m an animal lover and this really touched me. Thanks for sharing. What a fun post!
    Karen recently posted…One last hike for 2017My Profile

  5. Hi, Liesbet – Thank you for another very insightful comment. I, too, usually hate the commercialization of any personal, or animal-related events. In Hammy’s case, Prince Rupert is a very small town and Hammy quickly became a ‘beloved local’. I believe the community genuinely gathered together caring for his well-being and advocating on his behalf. The Christmas decoration was made by a child in daycare….showing just how much Hammy’s tale touched the community. Wishing you and Mark a very peaceful holiday season.
    Retirement Reflections recently posted…Hammy the DeerMy Profile

  6. I love the story of Hammy! But hubs, who was raised in the mountains of northern Idaho, is forever admonishing me – “Don’t name the wildlife!!!” (Goes with his perspective that in the wild, everything is born to be eaten by someone else!) Not very Christmasy, I know…I wish only the best for Hammy – And for you and the members of your family! Merry Christmas! ~ Lynn
    Lynn ~ Encore Voyage recently posted…Encore Quotes ~ The Best Portion of Your LifeMy Profile

  7. Hi, Lynn – Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. I realize that there are many different perspectives on animals and wildlife. I’m glad that the local community ‘named’ and advocated for the entangled deer. I believe that this deer really helped to pull the community together. Wishing you a very happy and healthy holiday season.
    Retirement Reflections recently posted…Hammy the DeerMy Profile

  8. Hi Donna! I had not heard the story about Hammy but it’s very sweet. I do believe that animals have the ability to connect us all on very deep levels. Plus it is a great reminder to everyone about how what we do effects creatures others than ourselves on a community-wide and global scale. Thanks for sharing this sweet story with us and I hope you have a VERY Merry Christmas! ~Kathy
    Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com recently posted…Blue Zones Teach Us What Makes For The Happiest People and Communities on EarthMy Profile

    1. Hi, Anabel – I agree about the look on the dog’s face. I wanted to find a picture of a person (adult or child) wearing a ‘Hammy Halloween Costume’, but I could only find it on video.
      BTW – You were not supposed to see your present in Santa’s sack. It’s in there….and Santa’s almost on his way. He hopes that you will like it!!

  9. Thank you for this introduction to Hammy and to the We Are The World blogfest. Going to put the link-up in my agenda. We can all use a bit of bright news now and then.

    Love the tee shirt! Wish they would make some more of them. Will keep an eye open in case they do.

    Your Santa and Hammy running along the bottom of the screen are precious, too. Merry Christmas!
    Leslie Clingan recently posted…15 Activities on My 2018 Winter Bucket ListMy Profile

    1. Hi, Leslie – Thanks for reading and commenting. I am delighted to introduce you to both Hammy and to We Are the World Blogfest. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that you join us in posting for WATWBF – sharing good news is contagious!

  10. I hadn’t heard of Hammy’s plight before, but I’m glad you shared it with us… it is a great Christmas story. I wish we could be that loving to animals – and people – all the time.

    Now, aren’t you supposed to be on a social media break? Have a Merry Christmas with your family!
    Janis recently posted…GratiTuesday: My HusbandMy Profile

    1. Hi, Janis – I love your wish — and wish the same along with you. I’m not on an official blogging break – just trying to reduce my screen time – especially during our three weeks of company (which has already begun)! Wishing you and Paul a safe and happy holiday season and a peaceful New Year.

  11. What a lovely story Donna (and the pictures of purple twined deer made me smile) Wishing you a very happy Christmas – in the snow and thanks for your Santa gif – it made me smile (although it messed with the comments appearance – your commentluv doesn’t seem to appreciate him as much as I do!) x
    Leanne recently posted…MY AUSSIE CHRISTMASMy Profile

    1. Merry Christmas, Leanne – I greatly appreciate all of your support. I’m glad that you liked Hammy’s story…and the Santa sliding across the screen. I agree that Comment Luv does not LUV that Santa. Stay tuned for the addition of Christmas Music here featured on my next Guest Post. Wishing you a safe and happy holiday!
      Retirement Reflections recently posted…Hammy the DeerMy Profile

    1. Hi, Jill – I agree. So many pieces of Hammy’s story send a perfect message — especially about the importance of communities coming together to advocate for, and help, those in need. Wishing you and your family a safe and happy holiday season.

    1. Hi, Natalie – Our entire immediate family (4 sons, 3 DILS, 2 grandchildren, my parents, my husband and I) are gathering together at a nearby ski chalet today — so I should be enjoying that eggnog very shortly! Wishing you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season!

  12. What a wonderfully heartwarming story, Donna, and glad you posted it now. Glad to hear your community rallied to free Hammy from his stringy bondage 😁 So much truth to these theories that humans bond with animals and instinctively anthropomorphize them which I believe helps us further connect with them. Thanks for the holiday tale, and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    1. Merry Christmas, Terri. I am so glad that you found Hammy’s story to be as heartwarming as I did. Wishing you and Hans a safe, joyous and peaceful Christmas and a wonderful NewYear. Thank you for your support and friendship. I appreciate it greatly!
      Retirement Reflections recently posted…Hammy the DeerMy Profile

  13. We have a handsome young buck living along our road. I have certainly slowed down from my usually speedy driving style because I never know when the deer is going to be standing on the road.

    I love the goofy little Santa at the bottom of your screen.

    Have a wonderful Christmas on the ski hill with your family!

    Dr Sock recently posted…Mental Illness and FamiliesMy Profile

  14. Hi Donna,
    I’m late to this party – although very much enjoying the gif and Christmas music even the day after the big day.
    Thanks for the post of Hammy. I hadn’t heard of him at all, but found the post really heartwarming. I love when people gather together to protect and help a wild animal.
    I hope your Christmas was every bit as merry as your smiling, waving Santa suggest.

    1. Hi, Karen – Thank you for stopping by, especially during this hectic holiday season. I agree that it was heartwarming to read how the community around Hammy gathered together to advocate for him and ensure his safety. At the same time, they added fun and humor to the mix. Prince Rupert is only slightly larger than the town where I live. There’s much to be said for small communities!

    1. Hi, Joanne – Thank you for dropping by. Hammy is not a reindeer – but does definitely give off a ‘Christmas vibe’.
      I hope that your holiday has been going well. I look forward to continuing to follow your adventures in 2018.

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