“a person skilled in taming or training a specified kind of animal, typically using body language and gentle vocal encouragement rather than physical contact.”
“They” call me the Deer Whisperer…ok, maybe I just call myself that but whatever…
I have developed an interesting fascination with deer. They are really quite beautiful. I think they are very elusive also. I imagine that’s due to being shy…or being hunted. I don’t hunt them with weapons, I hunt them with my eyes and my camera. I have no issue with hunting animals for sport as long as the kill is used for food and not for trophies. I eat deer, and I like it. I’m not sure that I could pull the trigger and kill one but since I’ve never tried, I guess I don’t know what I’d do. I know that I don’t need to kill one so I won’t.
Deer are plentiful in these parts. In past years, I have seen them on occasion as I drive through some of the areas of Lincoln and Concord that I frequent. Sightings have increased over the years as the herds have grown and civilization has encroached on their habitat. They are less afraid of us as we have become part of their space.
This past December, I was in Concord and saw two different herds of deer in fields just off the road near some farm land. It was late afternoon and the 5-6 deer in each group were in the fields eating the grasses they find there. It was so cool. I had not seen that many deer at one time before. So I went back to the same area a few days later to see if they were there….and they were not. Why? Where were they?
So I did some research and found that they weren’t there the second time because it was the wrong time of day. Deer are likely to come out into the fields just after dawn and just before sunset. So, basically breakfast and dinner. Deer tend to be more active at night and will sleep during the day, taking short naps in the sun to keep warm. When it snows, deer tend to seek cover under pine trees. They move into the wind to try and stay warm and avoid predators. They don’t have “dens”, they just sleep in areas with good cover and sleep in short naps, always aware of their surroundings. Deer can sleep with their eyes open or closed. It is unlikely you will ever walk up upon a sleeping deer…they know you are there and will dart off in the blink of your eye!
So I started going back to the fields where I first saw these herds at the times I thought they might be there….and I was right! On several occasions, I found the deer in the fields, keeping a watchful eye all around as they nibbled on the grasses. I noticed that the herd was never far away from the tree line and that if spooked, they could bolt into the woods in a matter of a few seconds. An excellent survival skill. One day I just stood by my car, camera in hand and watched them as they ate. They often lifted their heads, looked around and went back to munching. I was about 100 yards or so away from them…a safe distance for them and me. Clearly I did not threaten them as they often looked up in my direction but stayed in the field. They knew I was not there to hurt them. On this one day, I watched them for about half an hour. I was just off to the side of the road and afternoon traffic whizzed by, not bothering the deer. I wondered if the people in the cars even saw the deer. You had to look closely sometimes because the deer blended in very well with the brush at the edge of the woodlands behind them. Mother Nature was pretty smart when she designed these dainty little creatures. I say “dainty” as I have yet to see a full grown buck…but I know I will and I can’t wait!
I have more research to do but for now, I just want to enjoy watching these animals. I have found several different locations in the area where deer seem to be plentiful. So I go to these areas and they come out of the woods to feed. I keep a distance away and they seem to tolerate me. We have an understanding…