Browsing in the Garden

This is a photo of two fawns browsing some bushes. An adult white-tail deer eats about a ton of vegetation each year.

Deer do not chew the cud like a cow and eat grass, but rather browse on twigs, branches, flowers, bird seed, bushes and of course some vegetables. Carrots, corn and cherry tomatoes but not chili peppers.

The problem with this photo is it’s not from Troy’s Lloyd Stage Nature Center, but rather in a residential garden. Ask Troy residents if they have seen deer in their neighborhood and they will likely answer, “Of course.” Or “They walk around like they own the place and seem very tame.” “I like seeing the wildlife.”

I enjoy seeing them too, but much more in their natural habitat. I’ve seen as many as five does in our yard, staring me down from 20 feet away while I was standing on the driveway. A buck slept in our yard one night.

A doe and her two fawns spent the night in our back yard frequently. I was photographing the deer habitat in the back yards one evening and saw the two fawns by themselves (this photo).

Unfortunately, deer are also dangerous and unpredictable, especially during the fall rut and also in the spring when does are protecting their fawns. A doe can maim or kill a dog with her front hooves if she thinks her fawns are threatened.

One rainy night at dusk a deer with a broken leg limped painfully along the bushes. I called the police, who came quickly, but the officer said he couldn’t do anything unless the deer crossed the street or a road.

This is part 4 of a series on deer overpopulation and safety. What to do about it is the topic for future articles. Here are links for Part 1, Deer Overpopulation and Road Safety.   Part 2: The Adams Road Deer Crossing, and Part 3, Deer at the Troy Nature Center.

#deer #wildlife #deeroverpopulation