23 November 2005

Bambi........mmmm, mmmm good!

Deer Hunting season opened here last week.
Dawn is punctuated with intermittent shots.......boom, boom.........boom.
We've gotten accustomed to them and go right back to sleep.

We live on 2 1/2 acres, adjoining a 5 acre pond on the outskirts of a small town, in a rural area.
In our back yard I regularly see opposum, raccoons,
coyotes, turkeys, squirrels (red and gray), red-tail hawks,
Great Blue Herons, kingfishers.
Now and then we see red foxes.
Once we had a Bald Eagle perched in a tree overlooking the pond.

We are overrun by white-tail deer.

Big Bubba took Tae Kwan Do lessons at a business that devoted the second half of the building to an archery range. While he was going through his martial arts workout, I would go to the archery side and watch archers shoot.
On the wall in that shop was a state map, showing the white-tail deer population of the approximately 100 counties.
Two of the counties were red. One of the red counties was the county where we live. On the map's legend, I found that red indicated a deer population of more than 25 per square mile.
My first thought was, "that's impossible!"
25 deer per square mile is obviously a lot of deer.

But we see graphic indications of the number of deer here. It's not out of the ordinary for me to pass two or three deer dead alongside the road on my 32 mile drive to work.
I frequently have to use my "Mario Andretti" driving skills to avoid hitting a doe or two skittering across the road, generally followed by an amorous young buck at this time of year.

Some time back I was called to an accident site where a car on one side of the road hit a deer and threw it into an approaching car, where it went through the windshield and seriously injured the driver.
Blood everywhere, we couldn't tell if the blood was deer, or human.

I was listening last month, late night, to a 50,000 watt blowtorch Midwest AM radio station. A representative of the Department of Natural Resources of that state was talking about the problem they were having with deer getting accustomed to living in upscale subdivisions, if there were trees to hide in during the day. She reported that in some of these areas, they had as many as 85 deer per square mile!
(Made my surprise at 25-per seem pretty silly.)

It isn't out of the ordinary to look beneath our apple tree in the back yard and see 5 or 6 deer munching on apples that have fallen. A pasture across the road frequently has 20 or so standing and watching us as we drive past.
We put tulips out in our front yard, and when the plants got to be 3 inches tall they were irresistible to the deer.........munch, munch.
We can't put out a garden.........deer don't share well.

They are lovely to look at, and when the does are escorting their fawns you cannot help but smile. But they are quickly approaching "nuisance" levels, and I think the DNR people are gonna have to take some drastic action to control them.
I'm glad the hunters are taking them, rather than automobile drivers.

A mostly unrelated question to wrap this up:
At the end of the Disney movie, Bambi became a Prince.
Ever meet a guy named Bambi?
I didn't think so!


GG said...

Gardening in the midst of wildlife is always tricky.

My Mother had similar problems. She put newspaper between the rows of veggies to keep the weeds down but that didn't keep the critters away.

Then she rigged up a radio to come on at different times in the night in hopes of scaring the deer and raccoons away. Didn't make a dent.

My brother thought that they came out of the woods to read the newspaper and listen to the radio while they dined.

I stayed at her house not long ago and the deer had pretty much cleaned out her flowers. The does and their fawns would stand at the edge of the woods looking toward the house. They seemed to be saying “We’ve finished with the first crop. How long until the next?”
A Prince who used to be called Bambi?? Hmmm ? Well that might explain that dwebbie singer who wears purple and lace all the time

amulbunny said...

I was in central wisconsin and minnesota this summer and we saw lots of deer that didn't make it across the road. Sad. My brother works for an insurance company as an inspector and he said they've had a lot more animal v vehicle accidents this past year.

Maybe it's time to use the passive animal birth control and get the herds down.

Venison's tasty but not at the cost of your life.

Thanks for doing what you do, it's gotta be something else to fly on a clear starred night and know that you are helping someone.