I was out for a walk yesterday afternoon and saw this little vision flit off to my right. At first I thought it was a dog. With horns. Despite the beauty of this buck, my first inclination was to scare it away. Deer in the orchard are bad news. They eat branches and chew bark off the trees. They’ve been known to snap smaller fruit trees in two. One or two deer can damage a good number of trees during their little orchard run.
We have almost 2 miles of 8′ high deer fence around our entire farm. The fence is topped off with barbed wire, just to liven things up for jumping deer. Even with this, we often have deer in the orchard for days at a time during fall and winter. They’ll jump the fence, walk through a gate that has been left open or take the less Darwinian approach and stroll up our driveway. Yes, we do have a good solid fence around the perimeter of the farm, but having a wide open driveway is kind of like asking your teenage kid not to sneak out, then leaving a ladder by their window, the keys in the ignition, a full tank of gas and a $20 on the drivers seat with a note saying, “I’ll make sure a hot breakfast is waiting for you when you sneak back in”. True, we want the deer population to remain outside the farm but tend not to get too clanked when one or two breeze in for a reprieve from the mountains. Or wherever they’re going.
It is a sight to marvel at though, walking on a quiet Friday evening, seeing the fauna and realizing what a beautiful place this farm is, the fall colors, the snow on the mountains and this buck, whom slowly walks away from me down the road.