A deer's crash, not a rooster's cock-a-doodle-doo, served as the wake-up call for a Colorado Springs man Friday.
A young buck launched himself through the front window of his motel room along South Nevada Avenue 15 minutes before sunrise. Two hours later, a Colorado Division of Wildlife officer drugged the white-tailed deer and removed him, leaving the mess to a sleepy maintenance man.
A little after 5 a.m., the maintenance man for Nevada Motel at 1006 S. Nevada Ave. awoke to the sharp sound of shattering glass.
"Boy, I had a rude awakening this morning," said Dan, who declined to give his last name. "It sounded like a grenade went off."
The rogue deer plunged through the 2-foot-wide vertical window and pushed past the heavy blue drapes that had been closed to block the sun.
The animal didn't exactly prance about. Instead, he bucked and bounded and banged against the walls.
"Boom, boom, boom," Dan said, describing the ruckus in the room.
Neighbors who heard the muffled thumping ran out in their pajamas to fend off what they were sure was a burglar. Their criminal was a 130-pound deer. Full-grown bucks can weigh up to 300 pounds.
Dan corralled the deer in the bathroom, trapping it by locking it in. But the thrashing continued. With his two-toed hooves, the animal managed to not only turn the bathtub faucet on, but he also thrust the stopper down, blocking the drain. Water spilled over the lip of the tub, and the room flooded.
"And I have to clean up the whole thing," said the maintenance man, adding that the toilet was smashed, too.
A DOW officer attempted to coax the frightened buck out of the bathroom, opening doors and windows for an easy exit, division spokesman Michael Seraphin said. But the young deer laid down on the tile floor, his legs tucked under his body.
An officer tranquilized the deer around 7 a.m.
Officers set the deer loose about 15 miles south in the Fountain Valley area, Seraphin said. The animal had only minor cuts from the shards of broken glass.
Deer hunting season in Colorado runs from October to November, according to the Colorado Hunting Planner. The dates coincide with the start of the three- to six-week-long mating season, when rutting bucks sometimes charge their own reflections in windows.
Seraphin said the deer could have been spooked, chased or was just fascinated by his reflection. Although there are thousands of deer in the Colorado Springs area, he can't remember the last time a deer leapt into a building.
No matter the reason, Dan the maintenance man is happy his uninvited guest is gone. For now, he has a list of repairs to deal with: replace the broken glass, dry out the wet carpet and replace the damaged toilet.
"I hope he doesn't come back for another visit," Dan said.