Oh Deer!

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It’s Fall at Leafhopper Farm, and the wildlife is moving through at a much higher rate as it stocks up for winter. I’ll post a few stories about our visiting friends and the challenges of hosting open boarders at the farm.

In blending domestic with wilderness, there are fluid transitions across the landscape where nature cross pollinates and sometimes predates on carefully stewarded systems. Fruit trees are the most vulnerable, that and young native plants put in as part of our restoration work here on the farm. They are after apples, but seem just as pleased with the prunings from our pear trees. Luckily, all the fruit is in for the season, so these Black-tail Odocoileus hemionus have to look elsewhere for the sweet treats. They are still drawn to our clover pasture, and nibble along the edges, hoping to remain unseen.

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Today I drove them out of the driveway three times, and wish our tenant with the archery permit would hunt this young buck. Our Game Management Unit (460) dictates buck only hunting, which means all the ladies are safe, unless someone has a nuisance permit, or other special tag. The buck is a small spike, but for an ethical hunter, that’s a great amount of meat to bring home to the larder. If he’s still wandering around during my chosen season (modern firearm) I’ll take time to stalk him, but the chances of him still being out in broad daylight by them will be slim.

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Black-tail Deer are infamous for going nocturnal during October. They know the hunting times and lay low during the “boom-stick” period. It would be such a gift to harvest a deer from the land that I tend. There is plenty of room for deer to move through the property, and with planning, game trails will be established with more intention, to keep deer away from the gardens, but offer them comparable brows in the thicket down by Weiss Creek. Accepting wildlife on the property, and working with them in a natural setting, allows more abundance for everyone.

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