Deer and rabbit explosion

The severity of our winters has a direct impact on the wildlife population. Last year’s mild winter meant that insects, nuts, berries and other food sources for wildlife were abundant. As a result of the mild temps and the rich food supply, the deer and rabbit numbers on the farm have exploded. Every morning and evening we see lots of rabbits, young and old, grazing in the yard and along the edges of the lane. The deer browse the fields (checking on the ripeness of the blackberries and wineberries, no doubt) before bedding down for the night in the tall grass.

We don’t hunt so regular visitors like this young white-tailed deer are brave enough to come to the salt block behind the house, usually in the cool of the evening. She had a fawn with her, but it remained well hidden in the underbrush.

The dogs love the excitement and it makes for a lively time when they catch the scent of anything furry. The three of them race around the porch barking (except for Noah, who is mute) like we’re under siege from Bigfoot and a few of his relatives. You would think they would get used to the deer visiting, but no, it’s fresh and exciting every time. It’s gonna be a long summer.

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8 thoughts on “Deer and rabbit explosion

  1. It was a very mild winter even by Lexington VA standards. There also have been a lot of bear cub sightings this spring and early summer. Hope I can keep them away from my bees.

      • Been there, done that. Pain in the wallet and pain in the wherever as you try and stuff your bees back in their hives, or what’s left of them.

        • Sadly, the last time there was nothing left to “save” but shards and clouds of very !!ANGRY!! bees… ):): but at least the Province has a (fairly painless) bear damage reimbursement program – small mercy. Although last summer was a really bad drought year, there’ve been two very mild winters in a row and there are a lot of bears up here this year as well.
          DH and I were out for a drive near Rice Lake about a week ago, came around a corner and saw what first appeared to be a large, black dog – until it started scrambling to get off the road and realised we’d startled a young one on his evening stroll… ):

  2. Nature is all about balance. This summer we are overrun with cottontail rabbits. We were seeing more of them everywhere in the evening eating grass in the yard, in the orchard, and along the edges of the lane. Then a pair of red-tailed hawks showed up and in just a few days there are a lot less rabbits.

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