The View from my Deck - Feb. 2017

I was sitting on the deck the other day, dressed appropriately, looking up at Proctor's Range looking for deer trails in the snow. I did not see the trails I usually see and began to wonder why. Could it be the wolves that have been coming back into this part of the country? Perhaps the cougars who regularly feast on the mule and whitetail deer, or perhaps even the coyotes who fare better going after deer in the deeper snow we are having this year?

When I think it through I realize it is probably a little bit of all of those things which is bringing, especially the whitetail population down a little. A few years ago there were so many white tails around our place that it was proving impossible to grow a garden, and they seemed to love my pumpkins which they devoured.

I decided it was time to build a deer fence which took a lot of time and cost a fair bit of money but I figured because the deer were here first I should try to fence them out rather than complain about them or worse, try to exterminate them in some way. The deer fence works, our apple and other fruit trees are really thriving and the berries are no longer pruned during the winter months when it just devastates them.

This winter we only have a doe with two fawns which I see regularly on our property, they hang out in the barn yard and travel up and down the road where the walking is easy this winter. Usually we have a lot more deer than this around but for some reason they are just not here this year. The other week I was walking around my property when I noticed strange looking tracks and some blood drops. On closer inspection I noticed it was a deer track so I followed it. I was wondering if it was a cougar, wolf or coyote attack but there were no tracks but the deer tracks. I followed the trail for about two hundred meters before they went up the mountain and I did not feel like following them any further. The deer did lay down in my back field for a while and there was a large blood pool there.

I suspect that there may be some folks in the community shooting the deer, or having some people come in and shoot the deer, at night. I do not know if this is true or not but I am pretty sure now that the deer tracks I was following, that deer had likely been shot. I hope this is not the case. I think if people are having trouble with deer they should fence them out, and make sure they are not leaving easy food source for them. The deer is part of the natural environment all who live here should be able to enjoy. Killing them reduces the enjoyment of the community and shooting without killing means a painful death or worse perhaps, a painful life for these animals.