As I said on my Home Page, deer are a rather constant visitor at my place since I live next to park land. I think they are rather awesome creatures and love having them around. I do have to take them into account when selecting and placing plants, but it is cool to live in harmony with them.
In this section, I intend to tell you about and show you pictures of my many experiences with deer. Many fawn have been born on my property. I think that the does see my property as a relatively safe place for their fawns when they are in the most vulnerable stage of their lives. While we have lots of coyotes in the area, they do not normally come around the houses on my block. My property, however, is right next to a forested park land, so deer naturally drift into my property more than others. So The first story I am offering is about a little fawn that I rescued from a bush protective fence that I was building.
The pictures that I have posted here show the fawn trapped in the cage and the second picture shows it free and about ready to run off wiih its mother.
FREE AT LAST
In order to protect my bushes, mainly when they are very young, from the deer, I build cages out of farm fencing covered with chicken wire. Unfortunately, back in May of 2016, a fawn was caught in a fence that I had failed to protect with chicken wire. Apparently, it tried to walk through it and became entangled in the cage. What was interesting was that I had walked by that area a couple of time and noticed that there was a deer standing nearby. I thought it rather odd that the deer was standing there for a very long time and, when I walked by, it did not run away. Luckily, I eventually noticed the fawn in the cage and was able to extract it from the cage. Obviously, the adult deer I had noticed was the fawn's mother and was watching over her baby. As I extracted the fawn, it cried out loudly, but the mother did nothing in response, like attacking me.
Interestly, I have noticed one deer in particular looking at me for quite some time, obviously not fearing me. I have often wondered if it is the fawn I rescued or its mother. Unfortunately, they all look pretty much the same, so I cannot know.
The deer that come on my property do not seem to fear me, though they do run away when I get too close. Since I certainly do not hunt them and instead feed them in the winter, I can imagine that they have a certain level of trust in me.
One note about feeding deer, however: Missouri Conservation does not recommend feeding the deer, because of the wasting disease that is affecting deer in some areas of the state. The department contends that feeding them brings them together which in turn inceases the likelihood of the disease being transmitted from deer to deer. The cause is neither from a virus or bacteria. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, "Chronic wasting disease is caused by a misfolded protein called a prion. All mammals produce normal prions that are used by cells, then degraded and eliminated, or recycled, within the body. When disease-associated prions contact normal prions, they cause them to refold into their own abnormal shape. These disease-associated prions are not readily broken down and tend to accumulate in--and damage--lymphatic and neural tissues, including the brain." See the USGS web site.