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Thread: Those damn deer!

  1. #1
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Those damn deer!

    I guess all of us realize how they have proliferated in the last decade or two, and how few defenses we have against them as riders. Should preface this story by telling you I live out in the country where in the fall I'm sure a few deer get shot by legal hunters. But not nearly enough. All of us have problems with deer eating our gardens. So I'm sitting in my living room reading a book and glance out the window. Two deer are in the neighbors pasture grazing on the grass - hardly exciting. Next time I look up from the book there are six deer and one is grazing on my neighbors raspberry patch. I figure I have a neighborly duty to scare them off.

    Get the old single barrel 12 gauge out of the gun case and grab a couple 1 ounce loads with number 9 pellets. (The gun is old, rusted inside and out, so I don't worry about cleaning it. The light hand loads are for my safety and the pellets very small so they will just sting an animal like a deer - though fine for dispatching magpies.)

    I walk out the basement door and fire a shot over their heads. (If you are not familiar with the sound of a shotgun, suffice it to say I first put in earplugs.) That shot gets their attention. They all look at me and hold their positions. Then the closest deer walks toward me, and I'm glad there is a barbed wire fence between us. He is maybe 25 yards from me and I wait until he has lost interest in me and turned away before I shoot him in the flank. THAT deer did bound away. The rest left very slowly. I have no doubt they will be back to both our gardens.

    The moral of this story? I think deer have changed. The sight of a person should have sent those deer running. CERTAINLY the sound of a 12 gauge shotgun should have! I believe deer are becoming more like raccoons - happy to live in close proximity to people and eat what those people will provide with no fear.

    A couple years ago I rode my bike to a friend's rented duplex in Cranbrook, B.C. (a small city) and saw four deer lying down on the small lawn. My first thought as I pulled in was WHO THE HELL WOULD PUT OUT THOSE TAXIDERMY ANIMALS HERE! Then I saw an ear twitch. Later that year there were deer attacks on a woman walking a small dog IN THAT CITY.

    Deer have become a serious problem across all of North America and I don't have any great solutions. I hope the mod's don't delete this thread because of the "gun component" in the post. I'm hoping to hear better ideas from you if this post is permitted.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  2. #2
    Curmudgeon At Large Bobmws's Avatar
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    Shoot 'em and eat 'em

    No limits, donate to your local food bank when your freezer is full.
    Bob Weis
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  3. #3
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    More hunting is the only solution.
    And it's not a gun component. You can hunt them with bow and arrow. It sounds like these deer would be like fish in a barrel with a bow and arrow.
    They learn. And when they learn the house is no threat to them, but it is noisy, then nothing scares them away.
    They have become a very serious problem. One and one half million of them collide with cars, trucks and motorcycles, sometimes with fatal (to the human) results, every year.
    Each and every one of you pay for insurance to cover the cost of those accidents.
    It would be far better to kill them with a gun or bow and arrow, cleanly, fast, than with a vehicle, where they are horribly maimed and injured, and die a slow death.
    After gross financial costs.
    dc

  4. #4
    na1g
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    "...far better to kill them with a gun or bow and arrow, cleanly, fast, ..."

    No, not really. There is nothing clean or fast about killing a deer with a bow and arrow. Deer can live in extreme pain for hours or days. It is quiet which, I believe, is why several communities around here (Eastern MA) allow bow and arrow "harvesting" but no guns. Like, it's OK to kill them but I don't want to hear it.

    This is not to say I'd like to kill them with my car or bike. There is no convenient way to do a major thinning of the deer population. I'm afraid (literally) they'll be around for a long time, so caution and common sense is our means of survival. Avoid riding at dawn and dusk, if possible. Scan the roadside and into the woods, especially on country roads. At night watch for those blinking eyes along the road edge. At night, ride a safe distance behind a car that will extend your view ahead and perhaps clear a path.

    Just when you thought smart phones were the biggest hazard, along comes Bambi and her family.

    pete

  5. #5
    Registered User David13's Avatar
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    The idea is that it is cleaner and faster than the car, or truck, or bike. Generally speaking, not in an absolute, every single time situation.
    If you get a good shot. If you can't get a good shot, you shouldn't take the shot.
    I already don't ride at dawn or dusk, or at night. I'm not going to give up the motorcycle because somebody else doesn't like it.
    dc

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    Rally Rat
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  7. #7
    Rally Rat
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    So does the chart mean that there are that many more deer in the high risk states, or that those of us living in them just aren't any good at swerving?

  8. #8
    Registered User wvpc's Avatar
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    Nice map T.T.

    That is a nice map you posted Tim T. Here in Michigan extreme caution is a must at dawn and dusk. I saw a lot of dead antelope along side the road in S.D. last Sept. I wonder if they, elk and moose would skew the map any furthur?
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  9. #9
    Rally Rat
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    I wouldn't put too much faith it the chart's accuracy.

    I find it hard to understand how things could be three times worse in Iowa than across the border in Illinois.

  10. #10
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timtyler View Post
    I wouldn't put too much faith it the chart's accuracy.

    I find it hard to understand how things could be three times worse in Iowa than across the border in Illinois.
    The map could be accurate. State Farm is usually relatively honest.

    In any case, it would be interesting to a breakdown at the county level.

    IMHO, we have too many deer in suburban and urban areas which aren't compatible to hunting. Out in the sticks (where I live) we have lots of deer, but the number of hunters has really dropped in the past several decades. Of course, we also lost the jobs that employed those hunters and provided them several weeks of paid vacation.
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  11. #11
    One big Oaff brewmeister's Avatar
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    I've been a member of PETA for years , People eating tastey animals! We had deer back straps at a dells rally for supper when I took out a smallish 180 pound deer with my 74 Honda 550/4 and I never went down but the poor gal on a GS behind me went over a large speed bump I left on the road.I did have to straiten out my shift lever that got bent back with the encounter with this unlucky field rat.Boy it was tastey though!!
    81 R100RT

  12. #12
    Registered User arthurdent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by na1g View Post
    "...far better to kill them with a gun or bow and arrow, cleanly, fast, ..."

    This is not to say I'd like to kill them with my car or bike. There is no convenient way to do a major thinning of the deer population. I'm afraid (literally) they'll be around for a long time, so caution and common sense is our means of survival...

    Just when you thought smart phones were the biggest hazard, along comes Bambi and her family.

    pete
    Seems Mother Nature did a number on them here in Nebraska last year.

    Between the drought stressing them, blue tongue, CWD and the other disease I can't recall the name of, lots of farmers reported getting several carcasses caught up in their combines in every field. That and the DNR reported the smallest harvest in quite some time. Tis spring is wetter than last and we will have to see what happens to the herd ifitmstays wet or goes dry.

    In any case, the diseases will thin them effectively if allowed to take its course.

  13. #13
    Kbiker BCKRider's Avatar
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    Lots if interesting replies! A few further thoughts:
    1. While dawn and dusk may be the most dangerous times, most riders hit deer in the middle of the day - because few are riding at dawn or dusk. When the forest is only yards from the edge of the road, and especially if your see warning signs for deer, slowing down and covering the front brake is probably your best bet. No guarantees of course. But if a deer darts out just in front of you (or runs into you) the lower speed greatly increases your chances of survival. If you actually see a deer and have time to do anything, the quick stop you have practiced (right?) is the correct response. DON'T swerve. Deer are quicker than you when it comes to changing direction and seemingly clueless about all motor vehicles.
    2. As noted, every year there a fewer hunters. For those that remain, I doubt that a larger bag limit or an extended does season would do anything to reduce the deer population. I am guessing that "deer moving into urban areas" is a result of over-population in their natural habitat.
    3. Also as noted, venison (when killed at the right time of year - not the rut - and properly cleaned and aged) is indeed a very tasty dish. I have never been a deer hunter, but have eaten bad venison (the steaks tasted like bad liver) and several times have eaten B.C. venison which was gourmet dining. A few years ago I had a motorcycling vacation in New Zealand. Somebody had introduced deer to that island and there was an all-out successful attempt to wipe them out. THEN they introduced deer FARMING! When I was there the three things you could count on being on the menu of every good to great restaurant were mussels, lamb, and venison - all "farmed."
    4. That won't work in North America. What COULD work is licensed market hunting. Imagine guys who have to pass tests for marksmanship, ability to properly clean a deer, and butchers who hang the animals in a cold room before cutting them up. Eventually they end up in grocery stores, shrink-wrapped as perfect venison, and at a premium price so everybody makes a good buck. Don't think that market hunting can't work. In the early part of the 20th century market hunters almost wiped out the waterfowl population of the US until it was outlawed. There were enough people then to pay big bucks for a brace of canvasbacks.
    5. Number 4 was a pipe-dream. Motorcyclists are a small minority, and not nearly enough other drivers have yet to hit a deer for this to be a concern. I expect anti-hunting sentiment is over 70% of the populace. I also expect the deer population to continue to increase. We can only hope for a disease epidemic with deer. I don't think the most rationale way of reducing the population (turning them into great food) is going to happen in either the US or Canada.
    Doug
    1992 K100RS

  14. #14
    Jack Herbst
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    Nay Nay Nay, One of the after market guru's and entrepenuirs in our group needs to get out a Cattle/Buffalo guard for the LT's and RT's. Like the old trains in the westerns had. Scoop em up now--skin and eat em in the next town. Now there's your answer!

    Jack
    "All my life I wanted to be somebody. Now I realize I should have been more specific."

  15. #15
    Registered User 36654's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BCKRider View Post
    Lots if interesting replies! A few further thoughts:
    1. While dawn and dusk may be the most dangerous times, most riders hit deer in the middle of the day - because few are riding at dawn or dusk. When the forest is only yards from the edge of the road, and especially if your see warning signs for deer, slowing down and covering the front brake is probably your best bet. No guarantees of course. But if a deer darts out just in front of you (or runs into you) the lower speed greatly increases your chances of survival. If you actually see a deer and have time to do anything, the quick stop you have practiced (right?) is the correct response. DON'T swerve. Deer are quicker than you when it comes to changing direction and seemingly clueless about all motor vehicles.
    2. As noted, every year there a fewer hunters. For those that remain, I doubt that a larger bag limit or an extended does season would do anything to reduce the deer population. I am guessing that "deer moving into urban areas" is a result of over-population in their natural habitat.
    3. Also as noted, venison (when killed at the right time of year - not the rut - and properly cleaned and aged) is indeed a very tasty dish. I have never been a deer hunter, but have eaten bad venison (the steaks tasted like bad liver) and several times have eaten B.C. venison which was gourmet dining. A few years ago I had a motorcycling vacation in New Zealand. Somebody had introduced deer to that island and there was an all-out successful attempt to wipe them out. THEN they introduced deer FARMING! When I was there the three things you could count on being on the menu of every good to great restaurant were mussels, lamb, and venison - all "farmed."
    4. That won't work in North America. What COULD work is licensed market hunting. Imagine guys who have to pass tests for marksmanship, ability to properly clean a deer, and butchers who hang the animals in a cold room before cutting them up. Eventually they end up in grocery stores, shrink-wrapped as perfect venison, and at a premium price so everybody makes a good buck. Don't think that market hunting can't work. In the early part of the 20th century market hunters almost wiped out the waterfowl population of the US until it was outlawed. There were enough people then to pay big bucks for a brace of canvasbacks.
    5. Number 4 was a pipe-dream. Motorcyclists are a small minority, and not nearly enough other drivers have yet to hit a deer for this to be a concern. I expect anti-hunting sentiment is over 70% of the populace. I also expect the deer population to continue to increase. We can only hope for a disease epidemic with deer. I don't think the most rationale way of reducing the population (turning them into great food) is going to happen in either the US or Canada.
    Relative to;

    Point 2- The suburbs and some urban areas offer tastier food than that stuff in the woods. It's just like the farm fields, corn and soy beans, are a lot better than what can be scavenged in the woods.

    Point 3 - Deer farming already exists in North America. In Pennsylvania, deer farming is regulated under our Dept. of Agriculture instead of the Game Commission. However, it's going to be a long time until the meat packing industry develops the proper production lines to handle a new meat variety. IMHO, the packing cost is probably the greatest cost driver.

    Point 4 - I think they use market hunting in Germany for venison. But, then again, you have to cut the meat packing costs........

    Point 5 - Deer impacts are a big issue for all drivers.....any auto insurance company will tell you that. Relying on disease to thin the herd sounds like a nice (i.e., affordable) idea until deer carcasses start floating in the municipal reservoirs or clogging the intake pipes. That's when folks get concerned............
    Cave contents: 99 R11RS, 2013 Toyota Tacoma, 03 Simplicity Legacy, 97 Stihl FS75, Dewalt DW625 & DW744

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