Country View: Rick Rasa - Deer in the yard - CA
Radio interview source: Rick Rasa, Owner, Deer in the Yard
Deer aren't really known for lying around the yard like the family dog, but the deer in Rick Rasa's yard do. Rasa and his partner, Marlis, moved to a remote location in northern California about 10-years ago. One evening as they sat outside, a deer they named Mama Rose caught the scent of almonds in Rasa's pocket and walked over to him. He fed her a few, and the next day, Mama Rose brought the whole herd over. Every day since, as many as 20 deer have come to the back yard.
"I think one of the reasons why the herd is there is that when we first moved there we planted a lawn in the front and back yard that was half grass, and half clover," says Rasa. "And we figured out that the deer love clover. So whatever reasons they like to come into our yard, they definitely love to hang out and eat the clover, and lay down on the grass, and we realized that they're very relaxed there."
Rasa says they figured out when the matriarch of the herd approves of you, all the other deer feel more comfortable. Mama Rose has since passed and they are now on the 3rd matriarch, who they've named Eva. She comes right up to them, and loves to be brushed.
Not all the deer are as trusting, but Rasa has found that if he acts like them, they are more accepting of him.
"We walk slowly, and very deliberately. We don't pay a lot of attention to them. If you stare at a deer, they're going to get nervous because they don't stare at each other, and we think that they think that predators stare at them," says Rasa. "So, we'll walk in the back yard and there will be five deer there, and if we don't pay any attention to them, we can walk within inches of the deer, and they won't even look up. Maybe they'll look up for a second. But, they don't run away and I think that's because they realize that we don't mean them any harm."
Rasa says while he and Marlis enjoy the deer interaction, they also know they are wild animals and respect their boundaries.
Listen to the extended interview with Rasa about the deer
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