Wednesday, May 29, 2013

I HAVE A LOVE HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH DEER

I like deer, I really do but they seriously are destructive little suckers and even though they have their place on this planet like every species does, I don't understand why they are one of the few species besides ourselves that we allow to flourish beyond what is ecologically healthy.

Last year I counted 12 deer in my backyard at one time, this year I counted 15, seems they are multiplying pretty quickly.  The number of deer would be understandable if our home backed up to a gigantic forest but we only have an 80 acre public park behind us and apparently the coyotes we're always being warned about are too small to take the deer down.

Fact: Minnesota has 900,000 deer and prior to the wolf hunt and predator control killings which resulted in some 600+ dead wolves, we had about 3000 wolves in the wild.

I'd give my right arm to live in wolf country right now.



Today I found my brand new North Star Cherry tree (plum full of cherries two days ago) half eaten by deer.  Previous to the buffet had by those annoying pests my neighbor tried to get me to spray the tree with this stinky concoction of rotten eggs and coyote urine to protect it but like a fool I opted to let it be because I was hoping to eat the cherries once they ripened.  BIG MISTAKE! I should have sprayed the tree this year just to give it a chance to grow large enough so that the deer couldn't reach the branches in the future.



All I can say is that I'm a slow learner.  I have two 3 year old apple trees that haven't produced a single fruit, thanks to our deer.  One is finally reaching a point in its growth that the deer are no longer able to reach the branches but the other looks in need of a funeral.

So... wish me luck on saving what is left of our little tree.  My husband has made an attempt this evening to protect it so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  If there's nothing left tomorrow we'll know it didn't work :(


Deer devoured the left side of tree








10 comments:

Jim Davis said...

We have deer problems as well. And rabbit, and raccoon,etc. I use a solar fence for the garden . We use tall wire cages for the young trees--pretty effective on the deer. When these are all in place, they will eat other things in the yard. I just have to decide what I'm willing to sacrifice a bit and what I'm not!

Michelle said...

Jim,

Thanks for the info! Solar fence? That sounds interesting! My husband put 5 foot chicken wire around the tree tonight... hopefully that pushes the deer to eat something else.

Luckily, we haven't seen a single raccoon in the 5 yrs we've lived here but oh yeah, the rabbit and deer are something else.

Epicure68 said...

I hope the chicken wire works. See it's people who don't have these problems in their yard that think, oh deer, they're so cute, why would you want to cull them? Because they're evil creatures that destroy everything you work hard for. Not to mention, from what I've heard, they're also quite tasty.

Michelle said...

LOL! Monica!

My mother loved venison. If she were alive she'd probably be cooking up deer right now.

Have you ever seen Lords of Nature?http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PagO3gmwmA0

Really shows how destructive some plant eaters really can be. We definitely need predators to keep them in check. I'm sooooo tired of deer and rabbits multiplying like mad and eating everything I plant.

Teresa Robeson said...

I really, really feel for you because our fruit and nut trees that aren't in our fenced orchard suffer the same fate. :(

As you said, it's people's fault for eliminating the predators that would have kept the number of deer in check. it's never a good idea to upset the balance of nature and the food chain. Nature has ways of correcting for any upsets in balance that she creates, but is harder pressed to correct for the imbalance that humans create.

We have solar powered electric fencing, too. Got them from http://www.premier1supplies.com . Really like them!

Carrie Garvin said...

Such a hard battle keeping deer away! I have a love hate relationship with them- because I have hit them several times with my car.

I hope the chicken wire works- I would think it would.

SoapSudsations said...

I haven't seen that video, so I'll need to take a look.

We should send you some of our cougars. ;)

Michelle said...

T,

I've told the hubby about the solar fencing... I think that would be perfect for us.

We humans are something else aren't we?

Michelle said...

Carrie,

Yikes! I hope you were never hurt! I've been lucky to never hit a deer *crossing my fingers, but I see them dead all along the highway on the way up north.

Michelle said...

Monica

Now that would certainly fix our deer problem. LOL!