I live in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Deer are an increasingly numerous pest here. What has happened is real estate prices got so high many farmers (and their heirs) realized they could evade much hard work and get a pile of money by selling their land (some of which had been in the same family for 100s of years) to real estate developers. The real estate developers began putting up lots of townhouse developments with Homeowners Associations that promptly banned hunting on their land. Farmers who resisted the temptation found their lands encirled by city folk who couldn't care less about hunting or farming. Some farmers were sued because of the tractor noise or farm smells. County govt.s counting the increased tax revenue from each house vs. an empty field sided with developers. Each new townhouse resident moving out from the city soon got to vote and their numbers soon grew larger than those of the pro-rural folk. As one newly-elected Loudoun County official proclaimed when discussing traffic backups on commuter arteries caused by tractors hauling hay to the next farm gate, "no one likes farmers anyway." One way or the other many farms were squeezed out of existance. In some cases developments consisted of over priced homes squeezed into 1/16 acre lots, hundreds of them.
By 2007 the deer had huge tracts of land that were previously areas where the deer were hunted transformed into safe havens where they could not be hunted due to human population density. City people planted all sorts of pretty flowers there. The deer happily eat those flowers. City people put up open air fountains and storm water retention ponds which the deer happily drink from.
Our local result has been deer coming out the gazoo. Not a day goes by now that I don't see at least 2 or 5 on my own land. This in comparison to the 90s when I saw one a week, and in my youth maybe one every 6 months laying on the side of a road somewhere.
Yes, I am fortunate enough to not (yet) be surrounded by city folk (although a nearby town will soon expand their borders (again) which might eventually change that), so I still hunt. Indeed, I even allow a (very) small group of friends to come here to hunt. I have over 100 lbs of venison in my freezer. I killed two last year my friends killed another 8. Yet, still as I write this, I look out my office window and there are 3 more in my side yard. Becoming used to city folk who joyfully squeal and take pictures instead of shooting them they have no fear of man. They even stand in the front yard and challenge me (snort, stamp their hooves, shake head, etc.) when I go out to my car in the early morning. Sadly, the State doesn't yet consider them to be pests so we can't just shoot them year round.
The pics tell the story. Once upon a time supposedly wise men claimed deer are nocturnal. I wish to challenge that. Some may be, but not all of them. Around here there are NO deer exempt hours.
[A similar for foxes and 'possum as lately I routinely see them at all hours also. Perhaps being nocturnal was related to perception of day light dangers, so if there is no predator, why not enjoy the day?]
The dead Bambi (which weighed at least as much as I do) was taken in my back yard (where the photo was also taken). The cause of death was an (ancient) .45 Super Vel from one of my (much older) Colt 1917s. Hunting here is no fun anymore. No great skill is required. Just walk up to him and shoot him while he waits. Sigh, oh for the good old days when succesful deer hunting required all sorts of skill sets.
Post your non-Model 8 and 81
Hunting pictures here
Hunting pictures here
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