A Little Too Much Adventure

The first reports of our four rehabilitated, orphaned fawns venturing into the residential area east of our property, came from neighbors across the street. Neighbors just north of us reported seeing them in their front and back yards, as was the case with both Daisy and Tukker deer when they were venturing out and exploring their newfound territory outside the deer pen. Fortunately, these four girls were just within a block or two and we got them to follow us home quite easily. But over the next weeks, the girls got several blocks away from our property, one time nearing a busy highway that runs through town. I wrote about some of these adventures in Meeting the Neighbors.

April wind brought down limbs, which are always yummy to nibble leaves from!

These adventures into the neighborhood became more frequent, and further from home. One afternoon a police officer came to get Forrest to help them with “a few escapees”. By the time they got to the scene where the deer had been reported, a dog had scared and chased the girls back in the direction of the woodlands. Eventually, they returned via the pecan orchard. Thankfully, our neighbors and the police department have been helpful in keeping the deer safe.

The girls became local celebrities when a photo of them made the front page of the local newspaper. All four were strolling along and grazing in the city park that is just across a busy county road along the north border of the pecan orchard property. This is another area Daisy used to frequent when she was a young deer. Thankfully, the park had gotten little human traffic since the beginning of the Covid shutdown. Regardless, I was not comfortable with them venturing further and further off of our property.

Before setting off for the day’s adventure, a stop for a little feed starts the day off right!
Scout has always loved to have her ears scratched. She does an Elvis lip curl on the side of her mouth on the side where her ear is being scratched.

Two weeks ago, while I was visiting family in Nebraska, I got a call from a woman who had seen two deer in an empty, grown-up lot next to the local Pizza Hut, which is along the busy highway that goes through town. I called back to Forrest in Oklahoma, and he and our family here searched but could not find them. Later, they got a report that two deer were seen near the high school, several blocks from the Pizza Hut and south of our property. For six days, Scout and Ruthie were out on that adventure – wherever it led them. Just before I returned to Oklahoma, Forrest reported the girls had returned home joining up with Penelope and Gracie. Since that time, all of the girls have stayed close to home.

There are reasons, I suspect, why the girls seem to be finding comfort in staying closer to home recently. Fawn birthing has just begun. The local does will have hoofed off any deer, including their own fawns from last year, to prepare and protect their birthing areas for this year’s fawns. They may have driven our girls out of the orchard and west end of the property. We have also noticed that Scout and Ruthie are both pregnant. They too will find birthing areas for their babies, possibly here on our property where they grew up, or at one of our neighbor’s woolly back yards just north of here. We cannot tell if Gracie is expecting yet or not. She never roams far from home. She’s always been more attached to Forrest and is rarely far from him. Penelope is not expecting. She is quite independent, but she likes to be wherever her sisters are.

Gracie (walking), Penelope (middle front), Ruthie (rear left) and Scout (rear center) enjoy shade from an oak tree in the mid-afternoon.
All of the girls seem to enjoy the cool of bedding down in clover patches that we let grow wild all over our yard.
Penelope
Nothing like coming home to have a good, safe nap.

Yesterday as I was driving home from a neighboring city to the east, I noticed a yearling deer scampering into a vacant lot on the outskirts of town. Somehow, that gave me a little comfort knowing that many deer are curious, and perhaps are quite comfortable in a city setting. I can only hope that people will be kind and proactive in protecting wildlife that visits their neighborhood or property.

© 2021 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


20 thoughts on “A Little Too Much Adventure

  1. I live in a smallish town ( 7400 pop) in northern CA . We have no sidewalks on our hill, but the back gardens are mostly fenced. Occasionally a doe will walk right up the middle of the road, and I have noticed missing rose buds that seem to have been adroitly nibbled. Not far off there are a few small but empty fields where deer nap and little herds cross the adjacent road much to the dismay of those who like to speed over its crests. Wild turkeys roam there too. Of late we even had sightings of a bear just outside of town and a mountain lion on the main drag….critters are amongst us and learning how to deal with obstacles we represent. I am always glad to see them.

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    1. I am glad to be surrounded by wildlife too. I just wish I could trust people in general more than I do. The park isn’t but five blocks away, and there has been trouble down there for a long time. Beavers have been shot, Ducks and geese harmed and killed, and birds shot. Years ago, I worked for the state office of Juvenile Affairs, and I learned that many young people will first start their path to killing, by mutilation and torture to animals. I have also witnessed needless and ignorant poisoning of animals just across the alley from us. I am always surprised and happy to find people who care about wildlife and do what they can to protect them. You are very fortunate to be surrounded by so many species!

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  2. Picking up on your last paragraph: deer are acclimatized to human life in my hilly part of Austin. It’s not unusual to see one or several in people’s front yards or walking down the street or hanging out on the local golf course (though they haven’t learned how to hold a club). When I came out of my garage the other day a deer was sitting a few feet away. I stopped as soon as I saw it, and initially it stared at me and didn’t even get up; eventually it did and walked off.

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    1. Your remark about “holding a club” made me laugh because a deer – even a little fawn just a couple of weeks old, can club a human brutally! So, yes they might not “hold a club” but club they can and do!! Ha ha!

      I’m not surprised about the deer in your area. Our family in Rowlett TX, near Dallas, have a variety of wildlife seen running through the neighborhoods. I suppose I’m not so worried about the deer just a few blocks from here, but that main highway that runs through town is much more of a concern.

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  3. Lovely to see the ‘girls’ with all the green of your summer, and to know they have a safe and loving place to return to whenever they feel like it. Thank you for sharing this, Lori.

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    1. The girls seem to be lured by the beautiful and plentiful rose bushes at nearly every house in the neighborhood!! Mine have been nibbled to the nubs. I’ve put cages on to allow growth again. But I’m sure I’ll have some very unhappy neighbors if the girls continue on these adventures.

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  4. I don’t know how you can remain calm when they wander like that, especially near a highway. And of course there is always worry about some hunter. I was quite happy to read that all returned home safely. Obviously, they met up with some romance while wandering. 🙂

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    1. We’ve been doing this for years, but I admit, I’m always anxious and I worry when we get reports about the deer we’ve raised, venturing into town. Our very first deer fawn, Daisy, explored much further out, but she did keep to the residential areas on the outskirts of town. She was also darted by the police once, which should never have happened. I think one of the officers just got trigger-happy. Forrest used to see wild deer cross the street into a residential area on his way to work most days. I know they exist around town… I just wasn’t happy about them crossing that busy highway.

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      1. Better darted than the other trigger. Deer are usually pretty good about when and where they cross but there are accidents. And there are folks who like to kill like possibly your coyote guy.. I passed a snapping turtle in the road this morning way into the breakdown lane and suspect someone swerved and it was done for the thrill of the crunch. Some people.

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  5. The photo of the two deer in their clover circles is great, and your sharing of their ‘itineraries’ is great. I’ve got some young squirrels around here now that are a little more curious than I like. One has developed a taste for cactus, and seems to enjoy sitting on top of a favorite one. There’s no understanding the squirrel brain, that’s for sure.

    I’d worry about the highway, but they remind me of the way we kids would keep expanding our territories when we still were in grade school and on bicycles. Every day we’d go a little farther, until we were so far from home it would take us a whole five minutes to get back! But we learned, just like your girls.

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    1. I hadn’t thought about my own adventures as a child. We did the very same things the deer are doing. Thank you for reminding me of that.

      As many orphaned squirrels as we’ve raised over the years, I have to wonder if many that we see today are grand squirrels or great grand squirrels… and maybe great greats! They’ve destroyed some of the wood on the porches and they pee on everything, leaving little poops behind too. We still enjoy seeing Punkin the squirrel from time to time. Last year must have been a record for the squirrel population – we have more squirrels on the place than I’ve ever seen!

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  6. This sounds familiar. Around here it is wallabies, but in other areas kangaroos and other natives plus introduced species like foxes as well who become comfortable with their human neigbours and find advantage in urban environment with understanding the perils. We -who have a fully fenced property- love having them around. Others are care-less, or various levels of unappreciative… despite that with a little kind intervention and benign control the visitors do little damage and are one of the benefits of residing I’m an environment that supports them. I would dearly love to have visiting deer 😄

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    1. I’ve always thought a roo would be fun to have around. It’s very wonderful to have visitors, and I think most people marvel at wildlife when they come to visit. But there are a lot of people who would not appreciate our deer wiping out their roses (a favorite snack, thorns and flowers too), or any other edible plant they deemed delicious. Most of the time the girls don’t linger long in any one place. I always hope people simply observe them and enjoy their presence.

      We see coyotes, foxes, porcupine, skunks, opossums, turtles, raccoons and even bobcats venture into the neighborhood across the street. I guess the deer aren’t the only trespassers in town!

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  7. I can well imagine the angst that you feel each year when the fawns begin to venturing into areas that are not in their best interest. If only that busy highway were not running through town. But iit s a good consolation to know that they are still tame enough to be easily led back in a safer direction and onto yawl’s property.

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    1. Ruthie has always been the leader on these adventures, and I have a feeling now that she’s in poor health and not able to jump fences, the other girls will stay around here. In fact, most days now, the other three lay around the pen. I think they miss Ruthie.

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      1. Aaaw. bless their hearts. And just maybe they are so much safer while staying close to Ruthie.

        It warms my heart to see how the two of you have put your heart and soul into managing the treatment process of Ruthie’s road to recovery.

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