Two deer enter local Gainesville shops in search of music and coffee

Background Info: This story was written off of a prompt from a lab instructor.

On Sunday afternoon at about 1:30 p.m., two deer from the Millhopper area were startled and took off towards the Hunter Crossing Shopping Center. 

Once there, one of the deer entered Deb Bordeaux's store, Hoggtowne Music. The other entered Howard Michaelson's store, Starbucks. 

The first deer came crashing through the window, Bordeaux said. Ten customers were in the store at the time. 

"I was worried that it would hurt someone," Bordeaux said.

The deer ran into a customer and then jumped behind the register, Bordeaux said. Everything was chaotic until someone was told to open the front door.

The deer was out the door and gone once it was opened, Bordeaux said. 

The deer caused about $1,000 in damage, and no one was hurt, Bordeaux said. A window needs to be replaced, but the store remains open for business.

The second deer smashed through the front door of Starbucks, Michaelson said. The deer leaped past him as he was arranging items outside.

The deer went to the back of the store and tried jumping over a table where two customers were sitting, Michaelson said. The deer slipped but did not seem hurt. After that, the deer turned around and left.

The store didn't lose any merchandise, and the door will cost $900 to get fixed, Michaelson said. Only six customers were in the store, and no one was hurt.

"The deer have been our neighbors since the shopping center opened,” Michaelson said. “No way anything like this has happened before.”

Deer are usually shy around humans, said Professor in the Department of Wildlife and Ecology and Conservation at the University of Florida Brad Woodleigh. 

"Sometimes during mating season they can behave in unusual ways," Woodleigh said. 

In North Central Florida, mating season is typically is October through January but can last into February, Woodleigh said. The incident is surprising because it is late in the year for the deer to be acting like that.

Deer do not usually hurt people directly, but sometimes their lives conflict with ours, Woodleigh said.

"It's possible they were after one last fling," Woodleigh said.