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Dear deer

January 18, 2012

I finally took the colorful Christmas lights down from a mile (or so it seemed) of vinyl fence around our grove. Good luck to me getting that tangled mess unraveled next year. It was lovely to come home each night in the dark and see the fence lit up so cheerily.

While I was working, pulling up tape and unraveling strands, I heard an odd huffing sound and tiny, high-pitched bleating. It wasn’t the goats; they were standing still and staring off to the west. Bounding across our neighbor’s lawn were six or eight does and a few bucks. They stopped at the road while cars slowed, and then ran across the new parking lot of the Mercy Medical Center and into the field.

Abandoned in our fenced alfalfa field was a young buck, not much more than a fawn. He couldn’t jump the fence. He ran back and forth near where I was working, bleating. The sun went down and I don’t know what happened to him or if the adults came back.

Today I got this email.

Dear Farm Bureau Member:

Iowans have strong feelings about the state’s deer population, which has led to discussions about whether the population should be increased, decreased or kept the same.

DNR has stated that the deer population is dropping, based on a generally declining trend in deer harvest numbers, hunter surveys, and other data over the past few years. However, some farmers and landowners disagree based on what they’ve witnessed in their own counties.  

Last spring DNR estimated that the statewide deer population was 5-10 percent above its “management goal” and proposed a plan to eliminate a total of 23,450 paid antlerless deer tags in 35 designated counties. After receiving comments from Iowans, the Governor decided against changing the number of tags.

This is an important issue, and we would like your input. Please click on the link at the bottom of this email to complete a brief, multiple choice survey asking questions about the deer population on your farm/property.

Thank you!

Grassroots Program Manager
Iowa Farm Bureau    

I answered the survey by saying we have noticed more deer than ever this year on our property, although we have always had an abundance. Here are some deer in our alfalfa field two years ago.

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