Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Deer Today; Gone Tomorrow

I don't know about you, but I'm enjoying the view out my windows of the snow that fell early this morning. I think all the birds in Amberley have come to my feeders to enjoy the (expensive) selection of bird seed I put out for them. Which has me thinking about the abundance of wildlife we enjoy here in Amberley Village and whether it's recommended to be feeding them at all.
According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources"With the exception of feeding songbirds, putting out food for wildlife can hurt more than help."  So, go ahead and feed the songbirds, and by all means, take pictures of all those cardinals, bluejays, titmouses (or is it titmice?), and woodpeckers. But when it comes to feeding the deer, the ODNR has different advice:

Kimo and Amberley deer engage in a backyard standoff
Wildlife, such as deer and geese, are accustomed to our winters here in Ohio. They are migrating species and the deer who live here in the spring and summer, may not be the same deer that are here in the winter. Deer have particular wintering spots and by feeding them you discourage them from going to those spots, that may be miles away from your backyard. The available food resources here may not be what they want or need in the winter. Furthermore, bringing wild animals so close to your house and other species makes them more vulnerable to spreading disease, and attacks from large dogs, or in our own community, collisions with automobiles. Additionally, for all of you gardeners who bemoan the deer  who eat your gardens, "Come spring time, don't expect the deer you fed all winter to find greener pastures. By then, they will have become accustomed to the free meal and think it's perfectly acceptable munching on your garden of delicate spring flowers and tender vegetables."

Why am I bringing this up? I've written about Amberley's deer culling program in previous posts. Council decided to continue with the deer culling recommendations from last year, but resolved to revisit the issue before next winter in order to have ample time to establish a comprehensive, cost-effective plan for the Village. This may involve bow-hunting, or may not, but until then, we are proceeding with sharpshooters in French Park and Amberley Green. All deer meet is processed and donated to the Free Store here in Cincinnati. If you live near French Park and Amberley Green, you will probably want to think twice about feeding the deer and establishing any kind of domestic relationship with them, because you are essentially luring them to your backyard, where they will become a target of our culling program.
So cute, but vicious!

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