black tail deer bucks garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest

Bachelor Party for Urban Deer

lack tail deer bucks garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

This morning I spotted a visiting black-tailed buck feasting on the apple tree.

Because he was on the ditch side of the fence, I bravely (?) attempted a closer look.

Slowly zig-zagging across the yard I pointed the camera at the deer, but was careful to never make eye contact.  (That’s how to approach a nervous horse, so I figured: Why not?)
Surprisingly the buck just kept chomping!
I reached the branches of the apple tree!
Thank goodness for the fence.

lack tail deer bucks garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

He’s so much larger & more daunting than the fawn & doe that frequent our yard.  As I admired his rack, another deer came into view.
Yikes!
Not a doe – – another buck!
Neither seemed particularly concerned that I was nearby.  I suppose deer with antlers aren’t chased by angry gardeners as often as those without, so why would these fellas be worried?
Thank goodness for the fence.

lack tail deer bucks garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Who knew male deer hang out together through the summer?  I’ve seen plenty of family groups of does & children.  Once, when we lived on Cedar Hill Road, a buck was included in the family lifestyle… but mostly, I expect bucks to be solitary creatures.  So what’s this?  The gathering before the mating season begins?
Bachelor party baby!!
Thank goodness for the fence.

I figure these deer are 3-4 years old because there are so many points on their antlers.  Isn’t that how to tell the age of a buck?
Nope.  ‘Turns out a deer that’s happy & very well fed can produce more points than usual.  Perhaps apples are especially nutritious.
Thank goodness for the fence.

lack tail deer bucks garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Admiring the 2nd buck, I lost track of the 1st.  Where’d he go?
He’d walked along the fence & entered the gate … to taste our other apple tree.
Right behind me.
Agggh!
Now I was trapped by the damn fence.

Antlers look so much BIGGER from this angle!  Especially with his head down, those points look even more dangerous!!

lack tail deer bucks garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

Thank goodness this fellow was NOT aggressive… just calmly nibbling on grass & approaching the gravenstein.

I can definitely see how someone might jump to conclusions, live in fear & not want urban bucks in the neighborhood.  I gotta admit I pretty near wet myself when those points were lowered right in front of me.

lack tail deer bucks garden Victoria BC Pacific Northwest
photo by SVSeekins

When the pair finished feeding, and meandered to another yard, I started to breathe again.

In Greater Victoria, our urban deer population increases each year.  Like many folks, I’m usually excited to see them & content to share space.  Why some folks aren’t as welcoming is a little more clear to me today.
What’s the next step the city should take?
Cull?
Catch, castrate & release for study?
Got any other ideas?

 -30-

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3 thoughts on “Bachelor Party for Urban Deer”

  1. EAT! Shoot first. Did you see the article of 2 wolfs that killed a deer 1 block off of main St. Banff and was eating it. 2weeks ago. Suggestion import wolfs for deer control and Bobcats for rabbits Should work!!! Nature at work! Signed. a guy that has not killed a thing since 1985. (Just can’t do it but I eat meat anyway)

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    1. I haven’t seen the article about the wolves in Banff – – WOW! That’s believable for the winter, but really surprising to occur in the summer….
      Here, there are more & more sightings of cougar in urban areas as the deer population rises (rabbit populations rising also)… Predators give us another reason to reduce the urban deer numbers ourselves.
      And eating the meat certainly makes sense to me. I was happy to learn the Oak Bay cull did not waste the food source.

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