So I have been reading through Nengaku's blog the last few days. A fun read since we also live a fairly rural life. He got me to thinking about our experiences with deer and I thought I would share some of our stories with you.
We see alot of deer around Central Oregon. You definitely have to keep watch for them on the road. There are lots of accidents each year involving deer. After living here a while though you get a feel for where they tend to be and you get to know their migration paths and crossing points, times of day most likely to be on the move, etc. We have been lucky so far, but have had many a close call with a suicidal deer. And you CANNOT predict what they are going to do. They freeze, then bolt. But sometimes they move forward, continuing the direction they were going, sometimes they turn and run back where they came from, and occassionally they will even run toward your vehicle!
Anyway - so we have 10 acres that butt up against the road. Our property is completely fenced with sheep fencing (the picture in my header is from our field)which keeps our dogs from getting off the property. The fence also tends to keep out some of the wildlife, particularly the coyotes. We are only separated from BLM land by one property and there are several packs that come out to hunt at night. As we learned recently though, if they really want on our property they can find a way. We had a coyote use a rock outside the fence as a jumping platform and he came and got himself a Gertie snack when the chickens were out free ranging one morning. Since we have 4 dogs though, most wildlife isn't very interested in getting onto our property. Mostly they just go around. We do occassionally get deer though, especially since the dogs are usually in the house at night. We have to be careful when letting them out in the morning because if there are deer in the field they will chase them, usually down to the road. Luckily the traffic volume on the road is fairly light, although speeds are usually around 60 mph so it always scares me when they do this because the deer then jump the fence and cross the road at a run. If the timing was wrong this could make for a fatal accident. And I don't just mean the deer.
So anyway, I remember waking up one night and hearing crunching in the gravel right outside our bedroom window. Sounded like very slow, creeping footsteps. Like someone sneaking around outside the house. FREAKED me out! So I cautiously peer out the bedroom window and about jumped out of my skin to see a big deer right outside the window in the moonlight. Had a good laugh at myself. Another night I got up to go to the bathroom and saw something move in the moonlight outside the window (another deer) and found myself wide awake for awhile after that waiting for my heart to stop racing. You would think living where we do it wouldn't startle me to see deer outside in the middle of the night, but it always does!