Good piece, Impster.
One thing I've noticed in my years of feeding
the food is just a part of it. Many deer return
the food source to socialize with the human who is
furnishing it. While I will buddy-up to the older
does, I avoid doing this with the fawns. The older
does can often use their judgment on who is friend
foe. After seeing and surviving the hunter food
they will not return to the same trap.
Like you I have neighbor interference. I am battling
like hell with next door zombies that insist on
sending over their brats to chase out the deer.
is particularly true now that the hunting ghouls
out and about. I do believe that they are trying
chase the deer into arrow regions. It is obvious
the deer hide out in my back yard where it is
have no patience, but NO patience with people who
teach their kids to hate animals. It is all
getting quite nasty--this neighborhood feud.
The state attempted to pass an ordinance against
feeding deer; the Democrats would not pass it. A
local towns have also attempted to pass such an
ordnance without success (so far). As long as I
I will continue to feed and attract deer.
Just love your style of writing. So happy you are
member of this club.
Imp Ster wrote:
> there is an oddly-damaged little doe who has been wandering around
> the area lately.
> she must have been hit in her face by a car when she was very young.
> her nose is curved to one side and her jaw is slightly dislocated.
> however her injuries seemed to have healed to a great degree, not
> even a scar or irregular fur growth evident, and she is able to
> browse normally.
> perhaps she was unable to eat during the healing interval, as she is
> much smaller than other does that i have seen.
> she seems healthy enough, if a bit skinny.
> she is not much larger than a fawn herself.
> but she is fertile, as a late-season fawn tagging along with her can
> i have been fortunate enough to get some excellent video of her
> foraging in the front yard.
> the sunlight was perfectly illuminating her expressive eyes.
> it was interesting to see how aware she was, her eyes constantly
> roving around, and at one point looking me right in my own eyes, as
> if wondering if i was friendly or not.
> at one point, she came quite close to the front porch where i was
> sitting, but then of course as if on some cursed cue, the inevitably
> timely hoot-n-holler from a passing zombie vehicle sent her fleeing
> into the deeper woods, the little fawn dashing along behind her.
> however she has returned a few times since then, seeming to warily
> accept my presence, as long as i dont make any sudden moves.
> i have been sprinkling various sorts of bread in the areas that the
> deer seem to frequent.
> (an outright bribe for the pleasure of their company!)
> so far they seem to prefer the greenery, but once the doe took a
> slice of bread and chewed it reflectively for several minutes as if
> deciding if she liked it or not.
> then went back to her browsing.
> well, at least she didnt spit it out!
> hopefully in the winter, they will return for more bread and corn if
> i can find some.
> if the poachers dont get them first...
> a few weeks now, i have been putting out more bread for them.
> i learned to put it out at night, as the squirrels get most of it if
> i leave it during the day.
> i have been shaking the bag as i come out, to let any woodland
> lurkers know that i am coming.
> the bread is always gone by morning.
> even a few apple sections are accepted...
> today something very special happened.
> the doe was lurking in the brush near the front door, nibbling the
> late greenery.
> she has become somewhat accustomed to my presence as long as i am
> when i called softly to her, she merely flicked her ears and went
> back to browsing, unconcerned.
> so i went back into the house and got a bag of bread for her.
> when i returned, she ignored me until i held out the bread bag and
> shook it.
> when she realised that i was bringing bread, she actually bounded
> towards me a couple of steps!
> it seems that i have made a new friend!
> she is still very skittish and suspicious of course, the zombies
> acroos the street seem to provide a steady stream of untoward noise.
> it will be interesting to see if her trust will develop further in
> the face of the usual redneck sideshows ...
> another couple of weeks have gone by.
> the doe shows up at irregular intervals.
> she has lost the ribsy look, perhaps due to the bread munching.
> the fawn has lost its spots now and is growing into a fine little
> they seem to be more tolerant of me now.
> a few times the doe has come towards me when bread is in the offing.
> once she came within a few yards as i was tossing the bread slices.
> the fawn is also more interested in the offerings and less likely to
> spook at the slightest sound.
> once it even ran off another deer that was lurking beyond the bushes.
> sometimes i wonder if i am doing them any favors by feeding them.
> wonder if they are better off with their distrust of humans intact.
> so lately i havent tried to inflict myself on them while they are
> feeding, i just stock the waterbowls and bread piles and leave.
> i need to be more careful that the locals dont see me feeding the
> have gotten a bit of video, but the camera seems to be very
> vulnerable to ecmf right now.
> good old expensively cheap smallminded sony crap.
> a few months have gone by now and the doe has another new fawn.
> from what i can tell, she birthed it in the overgrown front yard,
> perhaps the same location as the other and her own birthplace as well.
> this latest fawn i discovered one day as i walked along the path from
> the parking area to the front door, hearing a slight rustling of
> leaves in the yard and realising the newest fawn was drowsing only a
> few feet away.
> following a mad dash for the camcorder, i managed to get some good
> video of the fawn, against all SONY rules.
> it seems like i have been feeding the deer forever now, but it cant
> be more than a few months.
> i think i will call the broken-nosed doe Becky, the older fawn
> Nibbles and the new one Newbie.
> its getting to be a regular evening or sometimes afternoon event to
> offer them bread.
> more often in recent times, the doe will come quite near when
> questing for the bread.
> the older fawn is becoming almost gregarious.
> when it was weaned, it seemed to become despondant for a few weeks,
> getting into some conflicts with the doe over the bread piles, being
> run off by her once or twice... and i didnt see it much, but now it
> is back and staying around its momma and spends a good deal of its
> time fending off the nursing-advances of the new fawn.
> not to say they are getting "tame" or approachable, but they seem to
> have accepted me as a bread source if nothing else.
> if i try to approach closer than needed for bread distribution, they
> still jump or skitter away a short distance, but will usualy return
> when i call softly...
> 9:05 PM 7/17/02
> today was pure joy...
> have seen the fawn once or twice skulking about, its very careful to
> stay hidden from the unknown and flees at the slighest untoward
> but today it followed its mother and sister into the open upper yard
> as i stood and threw bread slices towards them.
> it has seen me a few times before but always quickly dashed off into
> the woods in fright.
> but today it warily accepted my presence and even went so far as to
> nibble a bit of bread.
> for one golden moment i had the whole family of 3 deer feeding within
> a few yards.
> then the old grey groundhog showed up and charged at the deer family
> and ran them off!
> greedy groundhog wants all the bread!
> one of the turtles is getting to be quite the sprinter also when it
> comes to breadcrumbs...
> it was a surprise to see how fast it could move when it wanted to!
> i am going to have to figure out how to get a regular bread supply
> since the ol wagon is in hibernation, i must walk the few miles to
> the bread shack every week or so.
> but its a small price to pay to be able to feed the deer in my yard...
> friday about 7 am.
> saw the fawn with doe ok.
> also the older fawn was tagging along trying to mooch milk.
> momma doe got fed up with both of them nosing at her and hopped over
> the baby and ran off into the woods, both offspring trotting along
> saturday about 10 am
> no sign of fawns today.
> got some good video of the doe coming out for bread.
> she is having trouble now with several huge ticks latched into the
> corners of her eyes.
> also seems skinnier than before.
> perhaps has internal parasites as well.
> their water supply is not very good.
> as she finished the bread and stood there regarding me, perhaps
> hoping for more bread, as if on cue some raggedy-ass local jungle-
> dawg came bycycling up the road out front doing a loud crack-head
> impression of Little Richard jive.
> the doe looked beyond at the sudden noise and back at me as if
> weighing her options.
> i made the deer sound for alarm (chuff, chuff ! ) and she took off.
> 6:37 AM 6/30/02
> just saw 2 bux in the old goat yard.
> as i sat by the window drying off after a morning bath, the smaller
> r'coon wandered past and towrd the woods.
> as he neared the front of the buss, the first buck stepped into view.
> they didnt seem surprised to see each other at all.
> indeed, i often see the coons in the same vicinity as the deer.
> scrambled for the camera left charging overnite in the living room.
> by the time i made it back, the first buck had moved on into the
> blackberry bushes in the old goat yard, and a 2nd, smaller buck was
> cautiously following.
> they both are in the "velvet" antler stage.
> the cam batt lasted a whole 5 mins this time, but i was able to plug
> in the power pack to continue taping.
> hardly ever see the bux around here.
> they are very cautious and listen often for sounds of human activity,
> making for the cover of deeper woods at the slightest odd noise.
> of course, today most of the ghouls are still sleeping it off after a
> big Sat Nite of gluttony and imbibing to excess.
> even the Interstate is curiously muted.
> its a very quiet Sunday morning after the big red (neck) white (boy)
> and blue (black) NATIONAL PATRIOTIC HYSTERIA pre-bash last nite.
> some of the fireworks were held early this year so as to convenience
> the merchants at the shopping centers.
> 10:35 PM 7/25/02
> today all 3 deer were in attendance.
> the continuing drought has made the water bowl a highly-sought-after
> item amongst the various woodland creatures.
> today the yearling doe came towards me on sight, not even waiting for
> a bread call.
> and the new fawn tagging confidently along, doing what the others did.
> after a moment regarding me, it took fright at some odd street noise
> and bounced away, but i called softly and it didnt go far before
> today was really the first time the newbie has seen me throw bread
> out, but it had heard me calling before and seemed reassured by the
> sound of my voice.
> it managed to dash forward and grab a slice before the older does
> crowded it away.
> still has all its spots.
> for a moment all 3 of them were grouped in a perfect picture of
> pastoral purity.
> then the newbie got irritated at a pesky insect and galloped away
> into the woods.
> later in the afternoon as i strolled into the woods, the momma doe
> began to follow me, even tho no bread was offered,
> shortly followed by the yearling.
> as i stood montionless watching the deep woods, they noticed that i
> was staring that way and soon were looking out there also.
> the suspence made them nervous and tails went up as they bounded away
> a few steps, but when no other commotion occured, they soon returned
> to browsing, keeping an eye on me...
> when i walked back to the yard, they left the woods and returned to
> foraging the yard.
> it appears that i now have a few more critters in my life...
> 8:23 PM 7/30/02
> lately the momma doe has been greedier with the bread.
> she seems determined to eat all the goodies herself.
> she will sometimes leave her bread pile and go after the lurking
> but at other times they both feed side by side in peace.
> yesterday she actualy struck out with a foreleg at the yearling as
> she was chasing her away from the bread toss...
> 10:36 PM 9/26/02
> new (human) visitors at HH have driven the deer away from our
> previous intimate routine.
> the visitors have a dog who makes haste to pee and poo in all the
> wrong places before i can set guidlelines, so of course the deer are
> highly offended.
> i have seen a fleeting flash of white tail bounding away into the
> deeper woods on occasion, so i know they are still nearby.
> hoever it appears that i have passed on from that golden era wherein
> they were my semi-tame daily visitors.
> also, with the advent of the deer hunting season drawing near, all
> the deer have been returning to their strictly nocturnal and skittish
> no more the langorous forays in broad daylight into the grass of the
> front yard.
> i still throw out bread in the upper meadow, but often it is
> untouched the following morning, remaining a second day before the
> other critters, birds and wee beasties such as racoons and possums
> and groundhogs and squirrels, make off with it.
> just as well.
> its best if the deer forget that this human ever offered kindness,
> lest they be fatally decieved by superficialy-similar bi-peds they
> might chance upon in the deep woods or other sub-urban yards.
> run, Bambi, run.
> but i will treasure the moments of their trust, and the images
> collected thus far.
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