Birds in the Valley


We have all kinds of birds in the Valley right now – the pastures in front of our house are filled with birdsong and it’s wonderful to sit on the porch and listen to all the different kinds of calls. We have  Sandhill Cranes, American Bittern, Wilson Snipes, Blue Jays and lots of others. This is a great place to be a birder!

Here’s some pictures of just some of the birds in our Valley. They come every Spring and lay their eggs in our pastures, and by the time we are ready to hay, the birds have all flown from the nest.


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The Problem with Deer…

Doe with Fawn

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a large doe come through our yard, in fact, she walked right below the main garden. I wondered if it was the same doe that has been coming around for a couple of years. This one had a fairly large belly, I thought. Now, I know why.


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Here’s what I saw late yesterday afternoon. This fawn is really tiny, I don’t think it is very old at all. It is gangly with those long legs, like a young teenage boy whose limbs are growing faster than his trunk.


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Can you see the fawn hiding behind Mama?  I wish I could have got better pictures, but I suppose these are better than nothing. I love seeing does with their fawns, usually. When I don’t like seeing them, it is because I know they are scoping out the easy food to eat in my garden!


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This is the problem with deer – love them while they are on the outside of the fence, nibbling on grass and willow shoots. Don’t love them so much when they are eyeing out the garden. When we returned home after being away from the Valley for several months, we could see a lot of deer damage.

The 2 apple trees – provided a wonderful appetizer

The strawberry beds – munched down to nothing. All they left were the roots! Both the berries and the fruit trees have grown back now, so I am considering they got a good pruning in the Fall from Mama doe. However, if we allow it to keep happening, the fruit trees will die and so will the berry plants.

This  year, Mama at least has already been in the garden. She chomped off 4 of the 6 Broccoli I had growing! First though, she stopped by the fruit trees and had a few bites. I doubt that the fawn can get over the fence, as it is still too small.

Basically, you can develop a deer problem if the doe comes, eats off your garden, then comes back in early Spring. Why? Because she loves your garden so much, she thinks it’s a grand place to have her babies.

Then after they are born, Mama and babe are hungry, so Mama brings them to the local Cariboo Valley market (my garden). Then babe grows up, leaves Mama and goes off to make her (or his) own way in the world. Next Spring, where do the grown babes go to have their own babes? Yes, you got it – back to the woods around our farm. Then she gives birth and where does she take those babes to get food? Yup, back to the Cariboo Valley market garden.

So, although I love seeing deer close by and love it even more when they bring their fawn(s), this is not a good situation. It becomes a cycle and this happens all over BC (and likely Canada and lots of areas in the US as well). It is worse this year, of course, because we don’t have da Wolf running the fences anymore.


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When we were in Prince Rupert, there were so many deer walking around town (even bucks, like you see in the picture) you could see them almost every time you drove down the road. They are stuck in that cycle of where they were born, and the natural inclination is to go back there to bear their own young.

So, what to do now? Yesterday I ran out onto the deck, yelling like a banshee and they took off. Well, they took off towards the back of the house! So, then I ran out the back door, yelling again at them. Mama and babe took off down the driveway and I haven’t seen them again….yet. I will, though. I know I will.

A person can’t just go shooting problem does, especially at this time of the year. Not only is it illegal, it would be certainly guaranteeing that the fawn will die too. It is too young to make it’s own way yet. A good general rule is that if fawns still have spots on their coats, they are too young to be separated from Mama.

We could look at it from a food chain perspective – as in, let the deer eat our garden, then later we will eat the deer. Hey, there is nothing wrong with that, at least for me. However, will this doe still be hanging around when doe season opens? I doubt it. They all seem to know when opening day is – it is like they send an email around so every deer gets the news.

At this point, I am going to put wire cages of some sort around the 2 fruit trees. I am also thinking of covering the one side of the main garden with Remay ground cover cloth at night and removing it in the morning. This would definitely help, as they won’t bother to try to get under the cloth. Deer are somewhat lazy – they eat what is convenient for them to get at. They also prefer to travel down an open gravel road, as opposed to having to make their way through the bush.

Can’t blame them for that, I would likely do the same!