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Retcop

Squaring Off with an Adult Doe

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Posted (edited)

I have never thought much about the few whitetails that show up in the winter to clean up the spilled seed from the bird feeder . I figure they could use it when their preferred foods are low,

and most of the ground around me supports hay and not corn or beans.  

I have a single doe that has been coming often, even in broad daylight, and she eats directly from the feeder.  I have gone to bed with a half or more filled feeder and woken up to an empty one.  That ain't happening. Musch to my wife's displeasure since discovering her eating straight from the feeder in summer with plenty of preferred foods still available, I have begun chasing her off.  First a yell and a clap or 2 would do it.  The last time I grabbed the .22 rifle and fired one way off from her in a safe direction, and she fled. The last time she held her ground, until I put one in the ground between her legs and kicked up some dirt.  She was gone-gone. 

This morning I am maintaining my little tree frog pond, and there she is at 8 am.   I started walking down the hill yelling, clapping hands, nothing. I get within about 10 yards (not smart) 

and she squares off to me.  I upgrade my yelling, clapping and arm wave, and she comes forward to put the seed between her and me, puts here head down while maintaining eye contact. 

Not feeling it's a good idea to get into a fist fight with an adult deer, I back up the hill, then turn and go inside and grab the .22 rifle. I shot into the ground about 3 ft away from her does not stop her full daylight breakfast. So I put one between her legs again and she runs off, have not seen her again today. 

Pretty stupid to approach any adult deer with that behavior, especially since she probably has a fawn hidden somewhere. 

From now on I will be using a much "louder weapon" weapon , and if she is gets hincky, I may just have some venison. I hope the wife cleans up after I butcher her in the basement, 

because I am not doing so outside in this heat. Hope the son-in-law is available for help with the butchering. We got him a nice set of blades and saws a few years back, and they have done a good job for him, and he is now a whiz at it.  I have no intention on shooting the deer unless I absolutely have to, but I am also not let an animal decide where I can go on my own property and when.  That seed is also not cheap, and I have already cut back.  I've altered my feeding so the seed is almost all gone by nightfall, and don't tolerate her while I'm awake and can keep an eye out. 

 

 

I gotta take the heat by saying this is partially my fault. My wife considers herself the "deer whisperer," and when they come in the backyard, sometimes to bed down, she sweet talks them, and it is our fault we have let them get too used to people. When the wife pops out on the back deck and they are in the yard (not necessarily at the feeder)  she can get even fawns to stick around with her voice.  I should have engaged my brain, but until this summer they have never so such interest in the bird feeder, except for cleanup at night in the winter. 

But I can't afford to feed her, and we so enjoy the variety of birds in this overlap of North/South habitats.  Give these moochers an inch and they take a mile. 

 

Lesson learned.  I know a bit about animal behavior, and I believe she was working up to a charge.  I am kicking myself because I should have known better, with the odds of her having a fawn. Just like I don't understand why people stop in the road for the deer to take their sweet time crossing the road instead of tooting the horn so they associate cars with bad sounds,

I never should have let the deer get so comfy.  I must it admit the shotgun hunters must get frustrated when during the short seasons, the deer are bedded down in the backyard. 

Ever since my dog died some years ago, that is. 

 

OH, I forgot to ask if anyone thinks I was a wuss for backing off.  My main reason for doing so,  is I'm also sure she has a fawn, and I am well aware deer can and do hurt people.

In fact we had a rash of unprovoked deer attacks on people walking or jogging on the asphalt path around Campus Lake at the University. 

I figured they were ANTIFA deer. :segrin:

Not sure what she might be prepared to do if the fawn was nearby, and there was a good spot to hide her just around the corner from the feeder...

Edited by Retcop

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5 hours ago, Retcop said:

<snip> OH, I forgot to ask if anyone thinks I was a wuss for backing off. <snip>

No! Fawn or not, she was preparing to disassemble you.

Does are far more vicious than bucks most of the time. They will stand on their hinds and tear you up with their front feet. Don't take unnecessary risks!!

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3 hours ago, Longhair said:

No! Fawn or not, she was preparing to disassemble you.

Does are far more vicious than bucks most of the time. They will stand on their hinds and tear you up with their front feet. Don't take unnecessary risks!!

 

Yep. I know I was being stupid.

I just happened to be working near to where she was.

Clearly a lapse of judgement, but I know enough about animal behavior when to get the hell out of dodge. 

Thanks for the confirmation.

 

I have been trying to get the wife to carry when she is out photographing wildlife. 

She got one of my old (shorter) gun belts out, but that is a s far as it went.

I am using my experience to finish the job. And why I have to re instill fear of humans into this deer

or....I use a large bird feeder, and I can not afford to keep the birds if she's eating up to a couple of pounds seed a day. 

 

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Can you get beanbag rounds for your shotty? A thump to the chest ought to work.

 

I'd just be reluctant to kill her if she has a fawn or two.

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29 minutes ago, Flesh Wound said:

Can you get beanbag rounds for your shotty? A thump to the chest ought to work.

 

I'd just be reluctant to kill her if she has a fawn or two.

 

IIRC, fawns should be off of momma's milk by now. 

My outlook will be quite different if the fawn was younger, trust be. 

I am nowhere near as cold about bird seed and deer, but that is only part of the equation. 

Hanging in the living room is one of the family of large does that call this area home with her twin fawns trying to get milk

at the same time.  Also egrets, and the baby Kites we allow to make a mess over the front and rear eves. 

I almost hit the buy button on some .308 blanks that actually used

wooden bullets, but I don't know if they would be good for the rifle,

or how far and how accurately they travel. I also don't understand how they are marketed as "blanks". 

 

However, that is not a bad idea. I know very little about them. All of this "don't hurt a person who is trying to kill you" 

weaponry was not embraced by most Police at the time.  What happens when I hit her with the bean bag and it causes a charge ? 

Have slugs loaded behind it ?  I'll have to see about the cost and range, and if it is legal to own them in IL. 

I had to kill a young sickly looking baby raccoon a few weeks ago, and it was not fun. 

It's a different minds set when you have a wife with brittle bones and grandkids who love to play in the woods.

Ultimately it is because we all moved out here originally hundreds of years ago and cleared and carved things up. 

That's not gonna stop me from removing animals that do not play nice.

 

I do not like killing wildlife I do not eat, unless they are vermin. 

I had the pleasure of getting a good look at a Woods Mouse the other day. Looks and acts totally different than the dreaded common House Mouse. 

I would never think of killing it. That's not vermin, but it is probably eating baby tree frogs from my pond. Oh well. 

I will look into your suggestion.  I may ultimately spend less on an air horn than bean bags for behavior mod. 

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Posted (edited)

I  don't think backing off from her was a wus thing to do. She's an animal, much quicker, agile and powerful than you and she fights or flights for her life all the time, you don't...at least I hope you don't.

I'm with you, I wouldn't want to kill or harm her either. As mentioned are there bean bags for a shotgun like a reduced load for game control??? Or a light duty BB gun (like a pump that you can control the power) that wouldn't break the skin?

In other words is there a non damaging method you could employ to train her to stay away form the feeder yet let her be in other areas of the yard, just like you would a dog?

Maybe a deer repellent chemical spread out around the feeder. The ones I have seen used stink to high heaven tho.

Can you sling shot a firecracker toward her? Maybe some sort of remote control device? I've seen motion sensing sprinkler devices that turn on a single sprinkler that has your garden hose attached to it, you just leave the spigot on.

Something like this

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=animal+control+sprinkler&amp;ref=nb_sb_noss

Maybe asking at your local DOW, or animal control service would give you some good ideas.

Like most of us I hunt and don't believe in harming an animal unless absolutely needed.

Keep us posted I am curious as to what you come up with.

 

Darrell

Edited by ScoutnUSA

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Go to Tractor Supply or Rural King and pick up a bottle of hot pepper oil to mix with the birdseed. Friends in Michigan have issues with deer and squirrels in the bird feeders. They use the pepper oil on it and have gotten the deer and squirrels to avoid them. Birds apparently don't care about it. He has been growing some hot peppers in the garden for the same purpose. He is going to dry them and then grind them to a powder to mix with the seed. He thinks it will be cheaper and will allow him to use it all the time which will help as he also has bears come in and rip down the feeder once in a while. 

 

He said the deer don't like it at all and the ones he has seen eat the seed have reacted badly to it with no long lasting effects. He has video of the deer slobbering uncontrollably, dragging their faces in the grass and it seems to keep them away. He said he tried a 6 foot high fence to protect his garden and the deer would get over it. Now he plants alfalfa between the woods and the garden and the deer won't go through the effort to jump the fence. He mows 1/3 of it every week so that there is always fresh young growth and the deer keep out of the garden for the most part. He has several feet of electrified fence at the top of the fence, and around the bottom to keep the coons out. The video of them trying anyway and getting zapped is pretty comical as well. He says the bears are more persistent but they don't like getting zapped either. I think he has the juice turned up pretty high on the wires.

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Just be glad it wasn't a buck with some horns you might have had a fight on your hands. Folks forget that they are WILD animals. They start thinking they are entitled and get mad when they don't get it.

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8 minutes ago, gshayd said:

Just be glad it wasn't a buck with some horns you might have had a fight on your hands. Folks forget that they are WILD animals. They start thinking they are entitled and get mad when they don't get it.

 

Waitaminute! Deer are Democrats? Who knew? :dontknow:

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, ScoutnUSA said:

I  don't think backing off from her was a wus thing to do. She's an animal, much quicker, agile and powerful than you and she fights or flights for her life all the time, you don't...at least I hope you don't.

I'm with you, I wouldn't want to kill or harm her either. As mentioned are there bean bags for a shotgun like a reduced load for game control??? Or a light duty BB gun (like a pump that you can control the power) that wouldn't break the skin?

In other words is there a non damaging method you could employ to train her to stay away form the feeder yet let her be in other areas of the yard, just like you would a dog?

Maybe a deer repellent chemical spread out around the feeder. The ones I have seen used stink to high heaven tho.

Can you sling shot a firecracker toward her? Maybe some sort of remote control device? I've seen motion sensing sprinkler devices that turn on a single sprinkler that has your garden hose attached to it, you just leave the spigot on.

Something like this

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=animal+control+sprinkler&amp;ref=nb_sb_noss

Maybe asking at your local DOW, or animal control service would give you some good ideas.

Like most of us I hunt and don't believe in harming an animal unless absolutely needed.

Keep us posted I am curious as to what you come up with.

 

Darrell

 

Some very good suggestions; Thank you. 

I'll take a longer look at the sprinkler in it 44 or 65 bucks includes all I need except hose, but the deer may like it in this heat.

We are due to get some heavy rain from Barry in far Southern Illinois Mississippi River valley, but who really knows at this date. 

I can kick up a of dirt with .22 LR   hollow points for 44 bucks, more than enough to get the behavior mod I'm seeking.

One of my concerns for the deer is she is forcing the feeder turf issue, even though their should be plenty of food at or near the top of the whitetail preferred

foods still available. She looks very healthy (grain fed) and I don't see any sign of a leg injury. 

It is possible that all the extra rain we have had has reduces her range a bit. The Big Muddy River, which drains in to the Mississippi , lies to the North of me 

and also to the West and South after it takes a big turn.   It is way over it's banks, but it is several ridge tops away to the North, and even further to the South and West. 

 

The # of deer and fawns seen this year has been down overall, but not in the extreme. 

You guys do not have to worry about me taking out a doe in the heat of summer just because I could. 

We love the deer at "Twin Fawn Acres" as we have followed the matriarchal line that seems to produce mostly twins. 

I do have an older Crossman pump BB Gun  that I could limit the number of pumps I put in it. No worries,

I am not the idiot who is going to shoot a deer in the rump with a .22 to get it to go away.

That is totally not me. She is in good hands.   I studied Wildlife Biology, set up an outdoor mini pond for my tree frogs,

and love animals.    Hopefully in the Spring I can get a puppy. That will seriously reduce the number of deer concentrating on the dog-less property. 

 

PS. Let me put this a bit more clearly:  If anyone thinks I am using this deer's behavior as an excuse to harvest some venison you got the wrong guy.

You also have the wrong guy if you think I am going to intentionally injure this deer unless it is in defense of life or limb, not birdseed. 

Edited by Retcop

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2 hours ago, MontanaLon said:

Go to Tractor Supply or Rural King and pick up a bottle of hot pepper oil to mix with the birdseed. Friends in Michigan have issues with deer and squirrels in the bird feeders. They use the pepper oil on it and have gotten the deer and squirrels to avoid them. Birds apparently don't care about it. He has been growing some hot peppers in the garden for the same purpose. He is going to dry them and then grind them to a powder to mix with the seed. He thinks it will be cheaper and will allow him to use it all the time which will help as he also has bears come in and rip down the feeder once in a while. 

 

He said the deer don't like it at all and the ones he has seen eat the seed have reacted badly to it with no long lasting effects. He has video of the deer slobbering uncontrollably, dragging their faces in the grass and it seems to keep them away. He said he tried a 6 foot high fence to protect his garden and the deer would get over it. Now he plants alfalfa between the woods and the garden and the deer won't go through the effort to jump the fence. He mows 1/3 of it every week so that there is always fresh young growth and the deer keep out of the garden for the most part. He has several feet of electrified fence at the top of the fence, and around the bottom to keep the coons out. The video of them trying anyway and getting zapped is pretty comical as well. He says the bears are more persistent but they don't like getting zapped either. I think he has the juice turned up pretty high on the wires.

More good ideas. I gotta go to RK anyway.

But understand

In all the decades we have been feeding birds outside rural homes, this is the first time I have ever had a whitetail eat directly from the feeder.

The feeder I have closes from the weight of a squirrel so that is pretty well handled. What they do eat is off the ground.

I guess it was a mistake to let the deer eat the seed from around the feeder, but Grandma loves it, and it has never been a problem

until this year. You can pretty well set your watch by when the feeder will need filling, depending on the time of the year. 

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1 hour ago, gshayd said:

Just be glad it wasn't a buck with some horns you might have had a fight on your hands. Folks forget that they are WILD animals. They start thinking they are entitled and get mad when they don't get it.

 

I hear you.

The hooves are not good either. 

I'm not saying I walked right up to this animal.

I was a bit surprised at her lack of hesitation to challenge,  and I recognized her body language.

The biggest thing is I had nothing to defend myself except I that had not showered yet.

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Any option of rigging the feeder on a pulley to raise and lower like hanging food from a bear?

 

Darrell

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10 minutes ago, ScoutnUSA said:

Any option of rigging the feeder on a pulley to raise and lower like hanging food from a bear?

 

Darrell

 

I have had it on the same double pole along with suet and niger seed for the 12 years we have lived in this house. 

This is extremely unusual behavior for "my" deer using "my"  feeding system. 

There is a hard Maple tree close I could hang it in, but It would be squirrel against bird. 

 

We like being able to watch the birds, and we still discover new ones after all these years because of our North/South overlap habitat. 

We have Oak Hickory Climax forests with limestone Bluffs and Cypress Tree swamps, bare knuckles and all just a short distance away.

The bird watching is outstanding.  (Did I just say that out loud ? ) 

I'm really not interested in getting complicated, or changing the view.

I was pondering raising it up, so thanks for the pulley system Idea. 

I could sink the metal pole in a 4X4 to raise it up, was thinking about that. 

Sit back and watch the birds get struck by lightning !   :segrin:

 

As it stands, the warning shots are getting her to stay away during the day,

but I now have to fill the feeder every morning with just will get the birds through the day. 

I'll put a better system in place soon. Grandkids are coming next weekend,  I want her to get the idea 

she is not welcome here. 

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21 hours ago, Flesh Wound said:

 

Waitaminute! Deer are Democrats? Who knew? :dontknow:

oh yeh...big time

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