Way back when, the family lived across the road from a field. This field was rarely if ever used to grow a specific crop. It was just left to itself the vast majority of the time. Thus it was more grassland than anything. The surrounding woods well defined the border. Every deer hunting season, or just before, it seems we had a few folks who would drive down the dead end road and swing a spot light across the field to check the local deer population or whatever. I do not recall any of them ever taking a shot, but… did I mention Pa had, as he put it, the “Can’t Leave Nothing Alone” gene?
So one day Pa talked to the neighbor who owned the field and asked about a little project idea he had. The neighbor, a hunter, agreed. And thus one fine autumn day Pa and I took a paper punch to some 3M reflective tape and made a good many sets of “deer eyes.” I added one red one to the mix. And then we walked across the field and applied the tape-eyes to trees pretty much randomly. Once that was done, we scanned for them with a fair sized mirror, reflecting sunlight into the woods and seeing the eyes reflect back. And then we waited.
As it was a dead end road, there was not a lot of traffic and many a night I’d walk along the road, back and forth, taking in the starlight or just musing under the clouds. A while after our setup, I was doing just that when a truck turned onto the road. I ducked into the wood (opposite the field – I was on our property) and watched it go by.. and turn around and stop.. and the spotlight scanned across the field.. They saw the ‘eyes’.. and got suspicious. Eventually one of the fellows in the truck opened his door and yelled, to get the deer to move. The didn’t. There was grumbling – whatever their intentions were, they’d been screwed up. We got a laugh when I related this. That might have been the only time, or perhaps it was the only such event of many that I witnessed.
A few weeks had passed and Pa decided that it been going on long enough (and he got his one chuckle out of it from my seeing that truck and all) so we used the mirror again and noted positions and went to take everything down. And then scanned with the mirror again, just to be sure. Then, partway up the driveway, Pa decided this was too good to just stop. The “Can’t Leave Nothing Alone” gene strikes again. Kid up the road a bit is crazy eager for hunting season to start. It’s almost all he talks about. And he’s in school that day. And his father works at a school… thus the timing is perfect for us.
We walk down the road to just past their driveway, leave the road on the opposite side, and re-apply some ‘eyes’. But not so normal road traffic will notice. Nor will lights right out of the driveway (stopped, waiting for neighbors to go by) light things up. But as they turn that’s when they appear. Again, we waited. And… nothing. Followed by nothing. And more nothing. And it is decided that that’s enough and we take the ‘eyes’ down and dispose of them.
The next Spring, my sister is babysitting or tutoring that neighbor’s kids. One day she does that and it starts a mild drizzle of a rain as she’s about to leave. Their father, just arrived home, says he’ll give her a ride home (this would have been the equivalent of two blocks at the very most. One, more likely.) and though it seems silly for such a short walk, she agrees. On the short, slow, drive “Your old man has a helluva sense of humor. You shoulda seen Joey jump all excited when he saw all them fake eyes!” Ah yes, the gag did work, but we didn’t hear the payoff for months. Our reaction was, once Joey’s father was out of earshot, “Ha. I bet he was just as excited as the kid.”
 We seemed to have a “reputation” for Strange Things Happening. Can’t get away with anything when everyone figures it’s you automatically.