White-tail Deer

LeAnn posted this blog on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010 at 11:24 pm

Some deer hunters here in Wisconsin are complaining because they never see any deer,
and because they don’t see deer, they think the population has decreased
dramatically. And yet, recent statistics say that 60 percent — more than half — of
car collisions in the state are car/deer collisions.

Estimates also place the White-tail deer population in the state at 1 million. That
works out to be about 1 deer for every 5 people.

When Randy and I went to the town hall Tuesday evening to vote in the mid-term
election, we saw lots of deer — 10 in all in three different locations, and that was
just at the side of the road. If we’d had a spotlight, I wouldn’t have been
surprised to see 20 more out in cornfields and bean fields that had recently been harvested.

One evening last week after the neighbor had picked his corn, I saw 7 deer out in
the field. I went for a walk around our hayfield, and two of the deer took off for
the woods to the north, two of them stayed where they were, and three more ran into
our hayfield in front of me. Out of the three, two went back into the cornfield
right after I had walked past, and one took off to the south to get down to our “old
pasture” where there’s a few trees and some brush for cover.

I think the reason hunters are not seeing deer is that so many people are now
posting their land against hunting, either because they want to hunt themselves or
because they don’t want anyone hunting the deer. During the gun deer season, the
hunters who are out chase the deer into these “sanctuaries” where no one
hunts or only one person hunts, and they stay there until the season is over. No one
goes in there to bother them so they don’t have any reason to move.

White-tail deer are beautiful animals. It is tragic that so many of them die in car
accidents — not to mention the cost of repairing the vehicles and the increased
costs for automobile insurance and the risks that people run if they have an
accident with a deer.

If we end up with a bad winter, it is tragic that so many of them die because of the
cold or the deep snow.

I do not want the deer to die in car accidents. I do not want them to starve to
death in a bad winter. In a good year when there has been food over winter and plenty
of food in the spring and summer, some does have triplet fawns. Twin fawns is
a completely common occurrence.

When I was a kid growing up on our farm, if we saw a deer it was a rare occurrence — something
that made you stop and watch the deer because we saw them so rarely. It was unheard of then to
see seven deer at one time. And in all likelihood, we didn’t see seven deer in the course of a year.

No, it’s not that we don’t have enough deer nowadays. And if they can keep from running out
in front of my vehicle at night, all the better.

LeAnn R. Ralph

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