A letter to some fur/hide bearing “friends.”
Dear deer: How are you? I am fine…sort of…well actually a little miffed, which is just a couple clicks above happy but several notches below teed off!
I’m on to you, which is kinda weird and a bit scary to think about. But in my years of living back home in Montana I have come to realize you deer (Wikipedia official
name: Mammalia Artiodactyla) are up to something. Oh sure, you are beautiful animals, from a distance. And you serve useful biological purposes, No. 1 of which is providing dinner to Homo Sapiens (folks) and other carnivores up and down the food chain.
You no doubt delight tourists and locals alike with your majestic look and those deep “cow eyes” that seem to convey peace and tranquility. And, much to the chagrin of animal rights groups, your hides make some dandy clothing and your antlers can be made into beautiful knife handles or simply mounted on a wall with your head. Venison, love it!
But there’s more to you, much more. I know because I’ve shoveled lots of piles of it out of my yard. Those piles are usually located somewhere near flower-less stems of plants I personally planted.
Perhaps what’s most revealing and disturbing of all, you town-dwelling deer have an attitude. You really aren’t afraid of humans any more. You’ve got that “yeah, I’ll move out of your way when I’m darn good and ready to” look in your eyes when I brake to avoid having you join me in the front seat of my Dodge Ram.
Lord knows how many times I’ve been driving along, spot a group of you on the side of the road and watch in stunned disbelief while at least one of you runs along the side of the road, waiting for that moment to leap out in front of me.
Are you hoping I will leave little pellets in my trousers or add more gray hair to my noggin?
And speaking of pellets, one of the most disgusting things about you Bambi-wannabees is that you often don’t drop rabbit-like pellets. Nuff said about that.
Still, you are God’s creatures and I try to respect that. I used to hunt in the Beartooth Mountains area but when it became apparent that most of the “buddies” who asked to me come with them actually envisioned my large self as a human deer carrier, I found other interests.
Oh I’ve tried every “humane” approach I can think of to keep your pellet-producing posteriors out of my yard. The first thing I did was order one of those solar-powered, sonic deer repellers. Surely that would eliminate the problem and make me feel so much better for not using other more drastic methods.
I came out one morning (some of you deer may have been there yukking it up when you saw the look on my face) only to find five of you lounging on the grass in my yard, still chewing on what used to be wild flowers…less than four feet from my “guaranteed to work” sonic device that only you can hear.
You looked like you were actually enjoying soothing music your giant ears must have been tuned to.
Drastic situations call for drastic measures. Knowing it is most likely illegal to dig a moat and fill it with starving alligators (who wouldn’t be of much use in the winter and could effect the neighborhood in bad ways), I built a wood gate to block off your entry to my prized vegetable garden, which was already surround by 6-foot cyclone fencing, with an old 4-foot gate.
The six foot wood gate, I figured, would keep you at bay, but for added insurance I mounted a set of antlers from one of your relatives on that gate and painted a circle with the slash through it around those horns.
So far that’s done the trick.
Bouyed by that success, I added another 18 inches in height to the 4-foot cyclone fence around my yard. So, unless one of you has Olympic high jumping DNA, you can’t come in anymore….so far. In doing this, I’ve noticed some of my neighbors shaking their heads about something. Must be the deer.
We can be friends. Just stay in your realm and I’ll stay in mine, no matter how goofy it may be. I really don’t want to install guard towers on each end of the yard and hire sharpshooters to keep you out.
Chuck Kvelve Bandel is a reporter for the Mineral Independent and Clark Fork Valley Press. Look for his “Kvelve’s Comments” column weekly.