Deer, oh dear

I’m not sure if you heard, but we had a slight deer problem this winter. Well, slight is an understatement…it was a MAJOR deer problem. If you look back through my posts, you will find pictures, videos, eloquently-written, almost poetic-like blogs, etc. (well, I’m pouring it on a bit thick about that one, sorry ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

I figured I would wrap up the winter deer posts with this update:

This is a pile of deer carcasses that were collected from our hay yard. Approximately 60-80 deer in this group.

Yeah, we had a problem.ย And some deer died. I’ve been asked many times, “Why?” The answer isn’t so simple. Game and Fish statistics say that most of the dead should be does and fawns that couldn’t handle the winter conditions. But from personally witnessing and inspecting many of the dead animals, (well, from a distance anyway) I can tell you that there were a LOT of nice-sized bucks in that pile.

So, again, why did they die? They had protection. They had plenty of protection. They had feed. Very nice, dairy-quality alfalfa. Which would have been worth between $10,000-$20,000 in the hay market. Ouch. That hurts. My guess is that the deer couldn’t handle the feed. It was truly too rich, and they basically died from really bad stomach aches. Kinda like dying from too much caviar. (Can that happen???) You see, deer are built to browse, they eat things like leaves and berries and your brand new trees that you plant! ๐Ÿ˜‰

But the fact of the matter is, they died. And beside this pile of deer, remember that Game and Fish had already come and picked up a pick-up load of carcasses? So that’s more than 100 deer that died on our farm.

A closer shot of the pile that Mark buried.

What frustrates me almost more than the lack of action by Game and Fish is the waste of meat. Can you imagine the food pantries that could be stocked with this much meat? But I have an idea for this year…and it’s a way that we can curb our deer problem, encourage hunting, AND stock the food pantries!

Stay tuned for an announcement tomorrow! I can’t wait!!!

9 thoughts on “Deer, oh dear

    • Our black lab tried his best, but the deer paid very little attention to him. In fact, at the end, the deer didn’t even move much when I walked through the yard, or if Mark had the tractor running. I could easily pass within 20 feet of the deer, and they would hardly flinch. But we plan on putting up a hay storage shed, as well as other preventive measures. We will do what we can do ensure that it doesn’t happen again.

  1. I have been speaking to my state senator about legalizing the sale of wild game meat, right now as it stands you cannot sell it to the public. I believe if you make it profitable for hunters and farmers/ranchers it would benefit everyone in the end…

    • I’m not sure. The ones they hauled away, we were under the impression that they were going to test them, but no one called us back or sent us a letter, or anything, so I’m guessing that maybe they didn’t. Our cows and calves made it through the season without too much issue, so we’re just thankful for that, and we’ll address the problem this summer and fall, trying to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    • I hope so too! Actually, I hope that we can prevent them from gathering into such a large group. Perhaps then they will have a better chance of surviving. I’m just surprised at the lack of action/interest by the Game and Fish Department. I’ve learned so much in the last few months regarding how things work…it’s definitely been eye opening!

  2. As a casual hunter, more to get outdoors. I find this story to be very disturbing. Hope you find good answers to the problem you found on your property. Game and Fish should be out front doing research and notifying your family what ever they find or don’t find. Only wish I was qualified to help some how. Dave E. Fargo

    • Yes, I agree. I also wish we knew why they had died, so that our cattle were properly protected as well. The whole ordeal was unfair. And I cannot support an agency that abuses its resources so. They need to check their mission statement.

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