Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2011/02/24

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] Deer in winter
From: lrzeitlin at (Lawrence Zeitlin)
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2011 11:38:02 -0500


I'm sure Nathan was being facetious when he suggested that I feed the deer.
Anyone who has lived in the Eastern US or Canada knows deer for what they
are - 150 lb. rats. Cute as they are, they run through natural and planted
foliage like a lawnmower. A grown white tailed deer will consume 20 lbs. of
greenery a day, usually what you have just planted. I wasn't aware of the
deer problem on Vancouver Island but since deer can swim a couple of miles
of open water, it is understandable.

Once very shy animals, the behavior of deer has changed as their number has
increased. In 1965, when we first moved to our house in the Hudson Valley,
deer were rare. Cars would stop along the road to catch sight of a faun
wandering in the edge of the woods. But their growing population has forced
herds of deer into residential communities. They are no longer afraid of
humans and the local dogs are too well fed to chase them away. They contest
people and other animals for grazing rights in household gardens. I have
videos of my wife whacking a small buck across the nose with a folded
newspaper to keep Bambi away from the petunias. Constant grazing has changed
the nature of the landscape as well. Deer eat all the young plants. Dense
woodlands get scarcer as the deer consume all the new trees and underbrush.

Why so many deer? They simply have no real predators except the automobile.
Hunting season is short and the film "Bambi" has turned most voters against
increasing the number taken. Farmers have no need to shoot deer in their
fields to supply meat for the table. Wolves and black bears have been
largely eliminated. I live in the shadow of Bear Mountain, misnamed because
the bears were eliminated a century ago. The predatory niche is being filled
by coyotes but they are usually too small to take down a fully grown deer.

There is no denying that deer are cute and very photogenic. The kids love
them. I wouldn't even mind them myself if they ate grass instead of
expensive ornamentals. But there are just too damn many. Eat more venison.

Larry Z

Replies: Reply from mark at (Mark Rabiner) ([Leica] Deer in winter)