Saturday, July 14, 2007

 
THE HILLS ARE ALIVE . . .

with deer - they are bounding all over the place, white tails flying: bucks, does, fawns. We've seen several sets of spotted twins. Not up close. The town deer let you get up close, but we live in a rural area, a small valley with a creek and small lake that is a haven for wildlife of all kinds. More than anything else, though, we have deer. That's always been true but even more so now.

UNUSUALLY HEAVY RAINS

According to the Kerrville Daily Times, unusually heavy rains here in the Texas Hill Country have brought about a record-breaking deer population.

“Last year was about the worst that anyone can recall experiencing, and this year is about the best year anyone can recall experiencing,” said Mitch Lockwood, a wildlife biologist with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in Kerrville. “The conditions are so good that if it didn’t rain for the rest of the summer, we wouldn’t expect to see a rise in mortality among the fawns this fall.”

OVER 100 PERCENT INCREASE IN BIRTH RATE

The Daily Times continued, "The favorable weather conditions have helped keep deer populations healthy, and sparked over a 100 percent increase in birth rates; The average faun rate is between 30 and 35 percent, while estimates this year predict a birth rate between 67 and 75 percent or higher, according to Lockwood. The 2007 deer population could be the highest in living memory, which could potentially cause problems with local ecosystems."

"Deer consume a great deal of vegetation, and an over-abundance of deer could jeopardize a wide variety of plants and foliage. Lockwood said that any animals depending on those plants, including endangered species like the Golden-Cheeked Warbler, could also be at risk."

DEER POPPING UP EVERYWHERE

So we may have a problem developing. But for now, we are enjoying the deer, especially the young ones. My husband, father and I walked down a trail toward a meadow that we often see a few deer in. My Dad was visiting and wanted to see some deer. It was almost twilight, when they typically feed, but we didn't see any deer in the meadow. I thought he was going to be disappointed. The weeds, wildflowers and grasses on both sides of the path were extremely dense and at times shoulder high. Before we started out, I had no idea they were that tall or thick. As we walked, deer started popping up out of the vegetation, showing their tails like white flags to us and heading for the surrounding woods. As we continued toward the meadow, the activity all around us was unbelievable. It was a short walk, but all in all we estimate that we saw at least 25 deer, maybe more.

What a wonderful surprise!

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Comments:
I volunteer to come help you with your deer problem. I will, however, have to pick up some buck shot before coming out.
 
Not around my house you won't! But this is not a PC county and what you suggest was also in the newspaper I quoted as a way of saving the ecosystem.
 
Yes! At least we have our deer! We saw a couple of 'brand new' little ones in the R V parking area! SO CUTE!!!

How nice to have your Dad here for a visit!
 
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