Dot Boback had assumed she would have a peaceful life at The Terraces, a 133-residence retirement community along N.C. 16 in Denver.
After living there for approximately two months, she had made friends, decorated her home and settled into the peaceful life of her golden years.
That tranquillity was shattered in late November, making for an afternoon of fear that gave way to surprise.
Boback returned from an outing to find her carport in shambles. Her front window was smashed, broken glass laid everywhere and lawn chairs were turned over.
Believing that her home was broken into, Boback waited outside with her neighbors, who had already called the police.
Boback feared the worst.
â€œI thought the place had been demolished and that I lost 10 years of my life,â€ she said.
According to Boback, the first arriving police officer on the scene thought the worst as well, that Boback was a victim of robbery and vandalism.
He went into the home first, as Boback was too afraid to look.
By all accounts, there appeared to be a true break-in. Bobackâ€™s bedroom window facing the carport was destroyed. Shards of glass were strewn about her room, and the window screen was missing.
Authorities suspected her home was burglarized and began to file a report until they found a piece of evidence â€” a foot-long antler.
Then, they found fur on the windowsill.
As it turns out, Boback had received an unwelcome visitor of the hairy variety. A deer, probably seeing its reflection, tried to leap through the window without much success.
â€œItâ€™s rare for this sort of incident to happen. I donâ€™t believe Iâ€™ve ever heard of that,â€ said Detective Lee Keller with the Lincoln County Sheriffâ€™s Office.
After the deer rampaged through Bobackâ€™s residence, it left, taking the window screen as a momento.
â€œI figure thereâ€™s a deer running around with a screen around its head,â€ she said.
Diane Hagens, Bobackâ€™s daughter, is relieved that the damage was caused by nature, rather than ill will.
â€œWe were relieved it wasnâ€™t a vandalism or true break-in,â€ she said. â€œIf it was a freak accident, then that is okay. We felt better about that.â€
With the help of her neighbors, Boback was able to clean the mess up right away.
â€œI have wonderful neighbors,â€ she said. â€œThey looked out for me. It was very nice.â€
Boback canâ€™t really blame the deer for its antics.
Between the new housing development she resides in and another located just behind her house, the forest separating the two is diminishing.
â€œAnimals are losing their habitat,â€ she said.
As far as the antler is concerned, Boback would like it back.
â€œItâ€™s a testament to the power of Mother Nature,â€ she said.
by Katie Rozycki