An unwelcomed visitor

Yesterday, there was a visitor on our farm. In fact, she was still here this morning, but I’m hoping she’s on her way by now. I haven’t seen her this afternoon, so either she’s moved on…or something.

It always starts with one...

It always starts with one…

Yesterday morning, my husband woke me up and asked me to look out by the calf shelter. At first I didn’t catch what he was seeing, but then a movement caught my eye. My first thought? “Oh no! Not again!” But then I was relieved to see only one…not a herd.

What in the world could I be talking about? Deer. Or in this instance, one deer. But it never stops at one.

This deer hardly even flinched when I moved up to the fence to snap this picture.

This deer hardly even flinched when I moved up to the fence to snap this picture.

Why does this one deer have me concerned? Where do I start…

1) Deer are wild creatures. They are not a domestic animal and should be afraid of humans. This deer is not. And it only moved when I was extremely close…but it never left the area. In fact, it only moved over to the next cattle-holding area.

Yes, that is a feed bunk for the cows that have just calved.

Yes, that is a feed bunk for the cows that have just calved.

2) Sick? The fact that this deer isn’t exhibiting normal deer behavior sets of warning bells in my head that something is physically wrong with it. And this deer is too close to our calves for comfort.

Just to show how close this deer is to our cattle.

Just to show how close this deer is to our cattle.

3) In my experience, deer are like mice. If you see one, there’s hundreds near by…and I don’t want a repeat of two years ago. Ever. The death and destruction was sickening. And those that are supposed to provide assistance did not.

So today I keep an eye out for our unwelcomed visitor. And if it shows signs of obvious illness or distress I will be quick to call the proper authorities to come take care of it. I’m just hoping it runs off, and doesn’t return with a few hundred of its closest friends and relatives.

Post of destruction

I’m not sure that words are necessary…so just watch the slide show.

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I didn’t take the picture of the Game and Fish official who stopped and had picked up a pick-up load of the carcasses. (He did give me permission to take a photo.)┬áThese were just the ones left behind, or the ones not picked up yet. It makes me sad, frustrated and wondering.

To quote the Game and Fish website, the department’s mission statement is:

“The mission of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is to protect, conserve and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitat for sustained public consumptive and appreciative use.”

Well, they’re failing.