Why Not Here?

We were just 50 meters past the bridge when a thump and a crash startled me.  I knew what it was; hadn’t I heard the same many times before?  It was the classic sound of a deer running away.  If I hadn’t been daydreaming and watching where to place my feet, I might have spotted the deer before it took off, because I had almost passed it.  If the deer had stayed still, I probably would not have seen it.  Perhaps the deer figured my dog was a better hunter than me and was escaping her instead.

I wonder how often deer just stand still in full view, and I just walk by.

There is only about 25 meters of bush between the road and the pond at this spot.  I figured the deer would not go toward the bridge.  So I walked quickly to my right and looked over the bank.  No deer was in site.  I moved further along and failed to spot the deer, but did see a trail over which it could have moved quietly.  Ahead along the road, the bank is higher and pinches against the pond. I moved quickly up there, but again did not spot the deer.  How is it that deer know how to use every bit of cover so well, and seem to be able to disappear so quickly?

Only two weeks previously I had seen a doe walking up the road ahead of us.  It did not seem too worried, but definitely was watching for a place to pull its disappearing act.  I looked for its tracks on the road, found them, and tried backtracking.  I couldn’t see where the deer had first come on the road.  Was there a trail off to the side?  This was the first time in several years I had seen a deer while walking the dog.  We do see deer occasionally in our yard.  Or at night at some places along the road. Recently I was walking home from the mall and spotted a doe and fawn near Phantom Road, in the middle of the afternoon. But overall, I would say that it is rare that we see deer in our area.  What a contrast with some neighbourhoods in the Hammond Bay Road area.  You can see numbers of deer every day there, even in the middle of the day. Why is it so different here?

I have asked a number of people their opinion why the deer are not as numerous, or obvious, in our area compared to other urban areas nearby.  Nobody knows.  Lots of dogs get walks here; maybe there is too much dog odour in the area and deer, rightfully, equate them with wolves. Maybe it is just a natural variation in deer densities.  Or maybe it has something to do with our fences.

Are deer more numerous in lower Lantzville?



Posted in A View from the Outside, Columns, Editions, October 2013
One comment on “Why Not Here?
  1. John Dunn says:

    Maybe the Deer prefer all those nice people from Hammond Bay Road who spend thousands of dollars each year on nice exotic shrubs etc , its like comparing going to Kasiras Thai food [ read exotic HB Rd] or bland Tim Hortons [ read the bush] a little tasty variety compared to same old.
    On the other hand they know that hunting is verboten along HB Rd also a lot of residents feed the deer not only with shrubbery but with food. On another note they also bitch and complain that there are too many Deer yet when Mr Cougar shows up they phone the conservation guy who comes out and shoots the Cougar the Deers natural predator, go figure.

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