Saturday, 23 February 2013

Hail, deer, cat in the snow

Buster on the cedar rail fences, covered in hail! Bambi stand in front of the feeder, showing hubby where to put the food.
 Yes, we feed them a small amount. No, they don't fight much. They all have their own spots! It's a hierarchy, with one deer whacking another as they see fit. They understand this!
It smells wonderful!
Bambi watches the cat, who ignores her!
They only get a mouthful of food, with 12 deer in the yard. They use our property as a winter yard. We back onto about 100 acres of wetland.
We have a wolf, a she-bear, and coyotes in our forest! The wolf  hauled away a roadkill deer last year. Her carcass was 3 days old! The coyotes helped in the clean-up.
She gives the yearling a whack.
They know their place in the clan!
We buy quality MNR-recipe deer food from Dodds & Irwin.
We have a bad corner on our highway for roadkill. I don't know why the animals all cross here. We've lost porcupine, raccoons, a beaver, many snakes and turtles, and a barred owl, as well as deer. The drivers all speed up as they round the turn. The critters seem to think it is a place to cross. Most of the roadkill occurs in the summer.

Lovely way to start the day! Rain, snow, sleet hail - often on the same day!

The MNR tells us not to feed deer. Nancy, my friend at Bondi Resort, writes about the cautions around feeding deer.
Their metabolic rates slow down naturally in winter. They need less food as they store fat in summer, and feeding may imbalance their systems. There are times when it is prudent to feed the deer. We've had winters with an abundance of snow, with tender shoots covered up. Last year the drought was terrible, and we lost many small bushes and trees in the wetland.

Deer in the yard from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

1. The wrong feed can be bad for their digestion.
2. The habitat may not be able to support the increased population.
3. Deer may lose their feer of humans.
4. A concentration around artificial feeding situations can tempt predators like wolves.
5. Concentrating deer increases the risk of disease.
6. Deer may end up as roadkill, if they cross streets to get to the food sources.
7. Deer may end up fighting with one another.

Hail, hail from Jennifer Jilks on Vimeo.

Deer Conservation in Winter, A question of food, fat and habitat. This publication is 
CC #255
available free of charge from local Ministry of Natural Resources offices.

Habitat and Behavior of Wintering Deer


Forest Management Guidelines for the Provision of White-tail


eileeninmd said...

The deer must be fun to watch, great shots and post. Have a happy weekend!

TexWisGirl said...

really awesome you have the deer so close and 'tamed'. :)

Karen said...

Really enjoyed your deer video!

Hanne Bente said...

Great image series showing. Wish you a good weekend :) Hanne Bente

Anonymous said...

Such gorgeous deer! I like the hail shot too.

Laura said...

love the deer!

Anonymous said...

The deer are beautiful.

Valerie said...

A delightful post. Thanks for sharing.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Sounds like you studied up and are feeding them correctly. Must be so much fun t have that wonderful "backyard" of the adjoining wetlands. It is too bad about the crossing and the cars speeding up; some people don't have good sense!

Linda Hoye said...

How blessed you are to live in such a place where you have wildlife so near!

J Rye said...

Oh wow, that's a lot and I love the videos!

My Dog and Me

Gunilla Bäck said...

The deer are so beautiful and you have so many of them, they must be a joy to watch.

Tree Hugger - Suzan said...

We sold our cottage in the north ga. mountains last Oct. and I miss all the deer that would pass by daily!! Too many deer in an area is a bad thing, especially in times of drought. They drop their babies and leave them. But we soooo enjoyed watching them!! Such an elegant creature.