Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More Deer Than Ever

Can you see the deer in this photo? I took this Sunday morning. There were a lot of deer out and about but this was the only one I could get a picture of. They have been coming into town and eating on my garden too (they looooooove Swiss Chard yum yum!), but only at night so I don't see them. The photo further down is of deer tracks in my garden.

We've had enough rain that they have plenty of food (plus people put out corn for them). I don't know why they are still coming into town in the summer (they usually only move around like this in the winter), unless it is that newly erected game fences on some ranches is changing the trail routes they take in their daily rounds.

People here say deer will not travel more than 600 acres from where they were born. Maybe it is true that they prefer to be homebodies. Although they may not migrate, I bet they will travel farther when necessary to locate food or water, or mates or cover.

I am told that deer are only recent to this area. People who grew up in the country here never saw deer until the 1970s. There are different stories about why this is, including one that says they were imported in the mid-century from South Texas by a bunch of old cowboys who herded them into canyons then ROPED them and loaded them up and brought them up here to stock the territory! Wow! Talk about tough! Can you imagine roping wild deer?!?

I wonder if it is related to the increasing numbers of other animals, like racoons, opossums, foxes, armadillos: that more of the wild creatures are adapting to living in the vicinity of people?

Now if we can just start seeing more horned toads again, that would be a great thing!

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