Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Deer Invasion

Lots of diverse field work ventures over the past week. Deep geo probe drilling, urban settings and work in wet cloud enshrouded forest. Camping in the rain with a good book and hearing the vibration of knight hawk wings as they made a dent in the local insect population.

I also got a good look at the continuing invasion of deer into the urban landscape. The morning I left Bellingham, three adult deer passed down our urban street of 50' x 100' lots located between the freeway and downtown. At a construction site in another town, a fawn was napping on the warm soil above the concrete forms.

In the evening, two more fawns made a dash across the street without looking both ways before crossing.

The presence of deer in urban areas is not due to human encroachment on the deer habitat, but deer encroachment on human habitat. Urban settings provide significant advantage to deer. Typically these are no hunting zones, the initial reaction by people may be more favorable, and predators, at least for now, are much less likely to be encountered.

Thus far my anecdotal take is the Port Townsend might have the largest invasion of deer in the state. It is rare that I do not see deer when I visit PT. Their boldness in lack of concern about proximity to humans is impressive.    


grnchile said...

A count at the beginning of April found 238 deer in residential areas in Port Townsend. That didn't include fields or wooded areas and it looks like it didn't include these two.

The only thing that I've seen concern them is large dogs. Yelling at deer to stop chewing on our cherry tree is useless. Catching sight of the dog generates an immediate reaction. Perhaps that response is instinctual.

Hollis said...

I see the same the reaction of deer to dogs. I live near the edge of our town, not far from the river, with occasional deer. I think we would have far more if there weren't so many dogs being walked.

Dan McShane said...

Thanks for the count results.
The greater control of dogs in more urban settings may also explain why the deer are getting so comfortable with urban areas.