I realize now, that with all my complaining about the large number of deer here, that some people are wondering what I’m complaining about. I mean, they are beautiful, and tasty, creatures.
Well, here’s a quick rundown:
1) As I’ve said before, deer poop. And they pee. All over our hay and feed. Cows don’t like it, and I have to admit, it’s starting to smell funny over there. Yuck! What a mess!
2) Deer can carry disease, and quite a bit of it, especially in the numbers that they are travelling here. These diseases are transferable to our cattle…which is bad, really bad. Remember way back when? When I talked about our herd? Well, we’ve worked really, really hard to make sure that our herd is healthy and disease-free, mainly for the benefit of those that enjoy the beef we produce. We would hate to risk that, all because we weren’t given any other options by those that are supposed to be helping us. And, just to remind you, calving starts in just a couple weeks. Which means we’ll have some little calves that are even more susceptible to disease than our cows are…not a good situation at all.
3) Again, I’ve mentioned before that with the large number of deer come predators. Predators make cows uneasy. Cows that are calving that are uneasy makes for dangerous conditions. Not just for the cows and calves, but for anyone that works with the cows. We need to be as careful as we can, so that everyone can make it through calving season without being injured…including the cattle.
4) Danger to family. OK, now this is something I’ve been working on, and pray that I’ve taught my boys well enough not to have to worry TOO much about it, but I still do. As you can see in this photo, the deer are eating at the hay bales that are easiest to get to…the ones on the ground. Well, you see, each of those bales weigh a little less than a ton. And they are stacked four high. As the deer eat away at the bottom bale, the whole stack becomes unstable…posing a risk for the whole thing to come toppling down.
Imagine almost 3 tons falling on you? Now, I’m not just concerned about my boys, but what about a Game & Fish officer coming to check on things, or my husband, trying to straighten things out? Or even the deer themselves. (Although, that would seem to be poetic justice to me!)
5) Last, but certainly not least, the deer are costing us money. Not only are we losing feed, and the costs associated with that, but the deer have very good taste. They are eating the hay that we’ve worked very hard to put up in dairy-quality condition. This means that these deer are costing us every where we turn. I can’t give you a real accurate number right now, but we’re talking multiple thousands of dollars. Could you afford to lose $10,000? How about $20,000? Wouldn’t you feel a little frustrated and concerned about it?
Well, we certainly have a lot to discuss and figure out on our way to Mayo…and here I was concerned that we would have nothing to worry about! 😉