Deer are Evil

September 30, 2005 | 91 comments
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Deer, as far as I am concerned, are the spawn of Satan. Sure, I have seen Bambi and the the rest of propaganda put out by the deer-industrial-complex. But I am not fooled by the PR image of quiet, shy, big-eyed animals moving through the forest with effortless grace. The reality of deer, of course, is much uglier. They are selfish, voracious, despoilers of the pumpkins of others.

In this case, we are talking about my pumpkins. The Oman garden is winding down. The tomatoes are long past their prime, the last of the green peppers seems to have come and gone, and we are now many weeks removed from spinach, lettuce, peas, beans, carrots, or cucumbers. At this point our garden is mainly about jalapeño peppers (I have to say that jalapeños are freakishly productive pepper plants) and pumpkins. Indeed, our garden has basically been transformed into a pumpkin patch, and, to the chagrin of the president of the garden club who insisted that pumpkins were impossible, we have half a dozen beautiful pumpkins.

The other day, however, I found that one of our pumpkins, which was already orange and about a foot across smashed with the undeniable evidence of teeth marks upon it. I have, of course, heard my whole life about the wanton deprecations of deer, but this is the first time that any of their dastardly activities have been directed at me. Nasty, grasping, selfish animals.

91 Responses to Deer are Evil

  1. Mark B. on September 30, 2005 at 10:58 am

    I don’t remember if you live in Maryland or Virginia. If the former, get a 12 gauge shotgun, shells loaded with double-aught buckshot, get an orange hat and vest, and sit down for a pleasant few days in the autumn sunshine. If the latter, get a .30-06, dress the same, and sit the same.

    In either case, you can have pumpkin pie after a nice venison steak.

  2. Scott on September 30, 2005 at 10:58 am

    Please- you want them to get their food at the local market? Its nature and it isn’t pretty.

  3. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 11:18 am

    Scott: I would prefer that they starved to death in slow agony and left my pumpkins alone.

  4. Tony Loyal on September 30, 2005 at 11:26 am

    I say follow Mark B.’s advice.

    Deer are vermin pests, nothing more. And here in the St. Louis suburbs they are a very real road hazard as well.

    Hmmm, venison steak…

  5. Elisabeth on September 30, 2005 at 11:31 am

    You guys are breaking my heart!! These poor deer are driven from their natural habitats by greedy, grasping, selfish HUMANS. I’m sorry about your pumpkins, Nate. If I compensate you for damage to your pumpkins (emotional as well as monetary), will you let Bambi’s mother live?

  6. Justin H on September 30, 2005 at 11:31 am

    Mmmmm…. Vermin Pest steak…. /drool/

    I have nothing substantive to add, except that Mark B’s phrase–”dress the same and sit the same”–is cracking me up. I salute you sir.

    Good luck with the pumpkins, Nate. Have you tried the human hair solution? (Hey, it’s in a movie–it must be true.)

  7. MeliLI on September 30, 2005 at 11:34 am

    Nope, deer are evil, BRING BACK THE COYOTES!

    Spoken as a former resident of central NJ. No predators, large lawns = OVERPOPULATION.

    But I’ll say that I’ve also been in Wyoming, with wolves, mountain lions, etc. There the deer are still controlled as nature intended and not the garden pests and roadway hazards you get in suburban BoshWash.

  8. Elisabeth on September 30, 2005 at 11:41 am

    I know, deer can be pests (like humans!), but deer are not evil (unlike humans). Here is a link to some useful information about deer overpopulation in Fairfax County, Virginia.

    http://www.co.fairfax.va.us/comm/deer/deerfaqs.htm

    Note: While human hair may have been an effective deterrent in the past, may residents have found this technique is no longer effective. Urban deer have become comfortable co-existing with humans. Wild animals become acclimated to deterrents. A varied program with several components will be more effective than a single preventive method.

  9. Mike on September 30, 2005 at 11:45 am

    One of my friends who lived in upper Michigan told me this story.

    He went deer hunting and hunted all day in the woods without any success. At dusk he was driving home and suddenly a large six point buck jumped in front of his car and smashed in the front end. The car was still driveable and the deer was just laying there by the road so my friend threw it into the trunk of the car. Better meat if you shoot it than smash it with a car, but a deer is a deer.

    A few minutes later as he was driving home in the dark he heard a terrible noise in the back of the car. The deer had not been killed, just stunned, and was waking up and kicking big dents in the trunk. So my friend got out and tried to shoot the deer through the trunk. He thought if he tried to open the trunk the deer would kick him in the head and maybe kill him. He couldn’t just stand there and watch the deer demolish his car.

    One of the bullets hit the trunk lock and a piece of it bounced back down into his leg. The trunk popped open and the deer hopped out and ran off into the woods, alive and well. It is probably eating someone’s pumpkin as I write. My friend almost bled to death before he could drive his wreck of a car to the nearest hospital many miles away and saddest thing of all, he didn’t get his deer!

    I think you got off lucky Nate. One large pumpkin isn’t much. It could have been worse. Much worse.

  10. Justin H on September 30, 2005 at 11:53 am

    A varied program with several components will be more effective than a single preventive method.

    Sounds like we’re back to Mark’s two-pronged plan, then.

  11. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 11:56 am

    “These poor deer are driven from their natural habitats by greedy, grasping, selfish HUMANS.”

    Elisabeth, as I see it the whole distinction between man and nature is an example of human hubris and depravity. Human beings need to realize that they are not seperate from nature, but rather that they are part of nature itself. So, I say, survival of the fittest. It is a competition between us (and our pumpkins) and the deer.

  12. TMD on September 30, 2005 at 11:59 am

    I have to say: Elisabeth is wrong about deer being a problem because they’ve been driven out of their natural habitats. I can’t find the citation, but there are now believed to be more deer in Pennsylvania than when Columbus arrived. Human habitat, it seems, is more friendly to deer than their own natural habitat! (This is despite the 2 million Pennsylvanians who are in the woods on the first day of buck season trying to bag one!)

  13. Chance on September 30, 2005 at 12:03 pm

    Deer aren’t evil, they are pea-sized-brain vermin.

    I used to work at the Packard Bell call center in Magna. Folks how lived in West Jordan, Sandy, etc would travel to work via 7800 S and 111, which is a fairly dense area at the base of the Oquirrh Mountains. Once every month or so everyone had to go outside and see the dents and fur on so-and-so’s car, and hear how tragic it was to hit a deer at 60 mph.

    Mike, are you sure that isn’t an urban legend? haha, good story.

  14. Elisabeth on September 30, 2005 at 12:14 pm

    Nate: unfortunately, our Congress seems to agree with your Darwinian justification for the slaughter of innocent animals who find themselves in the way of mini-malls and townhouse developments. Goodbye, endangered species.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/30/politics/30species.html

    TMD: deer overpopulation is caused by two main factors – encroachment upon their natural habitat by humans, and the lack of natural predators (which generally is caused by the first factor).

  15. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 12:18 pm

    “Innocent animals”!?!?! We are talking about animals that smashed my pumpkin in cold blood. They didn’t even eat the whole thing! It was an act of wholelly wanton vandalism.

    Incidentally, deer cannot both be over populated and an endangered species. These are mutally exclusive categories.

  16. B Bell on September 30, 2005 at 12:21 pm

    E,

    Another factor is that in Suburban/urban areas human hunting for the obvious reasons has been banned. Deer herds grow unchecked without predators either human or animal. In Chicago the deer situation got so bad that Cook County hired sharpshooters to thin the large herds in the forest preserves. At one time you could go on a 45 minute walk in the forst preserves and see dozens of deer. The foilage was literally stripped away.

    Coyotes are not the best deer predators. It takes cougars and wolves.

  17. Elisabeth on September 30, 2005 at 12:24 pm

    LOL. And I’m sure the deer took exquisite pleasure in smashing your pumpkin, Nate! Maybe your pumpkin was of a substandard quality, and offended their delicate palate. Yes, I was using the term “animals” broadly here, and not just referring to deer. But your Darwininan justification for destroying deer would apply to other animals who have the audacity to scratch out a survival after being driven from their homes – no?

  18. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 12:27 pm

    Elisabeth: Nature is nature, and you can’t go making all of these emotionally charged value judgements. Mammals beat out dinasaurs. Humans beat out deer. No doubt some day human beings will be beat out by gigantic cockroaches from another planet. It is all part of the circle of life. You are just refusing the take the long term view and see the dymanic beauty of an evolving ecological system.

  19. Jesse on September 30, 2005 at 12:27 pm

    We should arrange for an assortment of mountain lions, black bears, and wolves to be delivered to the Oman home forthwith. :-)

    Once when waiting for the D.C. metro, at the end of the blue line (and this is a pretty densly populated suburban area) the train came in quite late, with the driver’s side window completely smashed in and the aluminum framing around it impressively dented as well. Somehow a deer had gotten onto the tracks (there are 8-10 foot fences, with barbed wire at the top running along the tracks out this way), managed to avoid being fried by the third rail, and then lept, with spectacular precision, right into the point of the oncoming train where it was possible to do the most damage, either by injuring the operator, or scaring the poor guy so badly that he slammed on the brakes and broke everyone’s neck inside the cars. Premeditated evil. Right up there with eating pumpkins.

  20. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 12:28 pm

    “Premeditated evil. Right up there with eating pumpkins.”

    Viscious, viscious animals…

  21. Frank McIntyre on September 30, 2005 at 12:28 pm

    I have tried to avoid coming to the conclusion that Elisabeth is an anti-pumpkinite, but her bigotry is just too apparent. Underneath a transparent veneer of supporting “deer’s rights” she has an agenda to role back all the advances pumpkins have made in this country in the last 40 years. Following her counsel will only return us to the days of back-alley deer feasting on the flesh of innocent pumpkin-Americans. If those deer are so innocent, why have they done nothing themselves to support a pumpkin’s rights to a private garden?

  22. lyle on September 30, 2005 at 12:36 pm

    !Viva The great pumpkin! I just know he will come this year…

  23. lyle on September 30, 2005 at 12:40 pm

    Elisabeth: If you want to talk about the “endangered species act,” otherwise known as the federal incentive to kill the critters so your land isn’t de facto taken away from your productive use law, then read both sides of the issue. It isn’t clear at all that the “current Congress” share’s Nate’s sentiments or has anything but the best interests of the animals at heart.

  24. not ophelia on September 30, 2005 at 12:43 pm

    Dear are evil pea brained vermin; we hates them, we hates them forever.

    We used to live in the Northeast [i.e. Lyme's disease country.] After a few seasons of examining your children for ticks every night, picking off the big ones, soothing their hysterics, wrestling them down for a Lyme’s disease blood draw, hearing and seeing the horror stories of late-term Lymes . . . well it will quickly cure you of any Disney induced anthromorpic deer sympathy.

    Q. What is the major deer predator in the northeast?

    A. The automobile.

    NO

  25. Lamonte on September 30, 2005 at 12:45 pm

    Years ago when I was a college student working for the Forest Service as a fire fighter, we mounted horses and rode up a mountain near my home town in southeastern Idaho to what we thought was a small fire in the woods (the smoke turned out to be only fog created when a thunderstorm passed over and dropped the cool rain on the warm forest floor) . While riding on the ridge of the mountain we encountered 5 deer in what seemed to be some sort of order – a multi-point buck in the lead, then two 4-point bucks and then two does – gracefully hopping in unison across the landscape. We all stopped in silence for a moment and gazed at this beautiful site and I wondered then how anyone could think of blowing one of these creatures away with a high powered rifle and get any enjoyment out of it.

    It’s just a pumpkin Nate. It’s the least you can do for occupying space that once served as the deer’s home. Besides, deer aren’t evil – cats are evil!

  26. Scott on September 30, 2005 at 12:53 pm

    What are you going to do with your pumpkins- let them rot on your porch after gutting them and scarring them with some attempt at a scary face? At least they were put to good use.
    Plus, Mike’s story is vaguely familiar- Tommy Boy comes to mind!

  27. Jesse on September 30, 2005 at 1:04 pm

    Frank:

    If a deer reformed and refused to eat pumpkins, would s/he then properly be referred to (at least in Nate’s neighborhood) as an “Anti-Oman-Pumpkinite,” signifying the animal’s non-alignment with Nate’s having fallen away into apostasy and iniquity, while simultaneously expressing unity with pumpkinkind in general?

  28. manaen on September 30, 2005 at 1:08 pm

    15
    “Incidentally, deer cannot both be over populated and an endangered species. These are mutally exclusive categories.”

    Not if the over-populated deer wander into Mark B’s (#1) line of sight.

  29. Kim Siever on September 30, 2005 at 1:12 pm

    How can something that tastes so good be so evil?

  30. Aaron Brown on September 30, 2005 at 1:12 pm

    We don’t have an “evil deer” problem at my house. However, there appears to be an “Axis of Evil” in my backyard, composed of raccoons, rats and squirrels. The raccoons live in the adjacent, undeveloped, overgrown lot. The lot has just sold, and will probably be developed. Development will be tantamount to an invasion and occupation of the raccoons’ territory, which will probably be met with a futile indigenous movement to oust the occupiers. I seriously doubt we’ll see an influx of the raccoons’ ideological comrades to combat the invaders, but I do fear our yard may become collateral damage in the ensuing turf war.

    Aaron B

  31. B Bell on September 30, 2005 at 1:18 pm

    Kim,

    They can be evil if you:

    Leave it in the freezer for to long, trust me…..
    Dislike gamy tastes in general
    Do not mix venison hamburger with beef
    overcook

    can be for sure non evil if you select a perfect backstrap and cook it to perfection.

  32. slam smith on September 30, 2005 at 1:30 pm

    Deer are nothing more than rats with hooves.

  33. William Morris on September 30, 2005 at 1:33 pm

    That’s sheer genius, Jesse.

  34. Frank McIntyre on September 30, 2005 at 1:38 pm

    Jesse,

    Sure, but later commenters might be forgiven for broadly grouping such deer in with the Omanites to simplify exposition. Naturally, their fellow deer would get very angry at the betrayal, especially if the Anti-Oman pumpkinite were nominated to the Supreme Court.

  35. a random John on September 30, 2005 at 1:40 pm

    Mike,

    Is your friend the source of the famous “Bambulance” 911 call?

  36. TMD on September 30, 2005 at 1:41 pm

    Elisabeth:

    You have, at least from the perspective of an Easterner, a bizzarre reading of America’s ecological history. The fact is, with the elimination of substistance farming during the century between 1850 and 1950 (which in most areas eliminated wide-spread livelihood-oriented agriculture, since the ground is hilly and not as productive as other places) and the reforestation efforts of the 1920′s-50′s, white-tail deer habitat (i.e., generally decidous forest areas) has grown substantially in places like PA, VA, MD, eastern Ohio, NY, and WV. Deer are suburban and urban pests (and when I say suburban, I mean suburbs that have century old houses in them, not new developments) because these areas provide easy, year-round food supplies, which are harder to come by (particularly in the winter) than in the overcrowded (even though much bigger than before) forested and rural areas. Is the absence of predators a part of this issue? Certainly, but much less of an issue than you suggest, since there have been no deer-eating predators in PA (except black bears, a population also on the rise now, to the point that PA is experimenting with a black bear season) since the 1820′s and deer did not become a significant suburban pest (despite reforestation and the decline of farming) until the 1980′s.

  37. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 1:46 pm

    “cats are evil!”

    At least, I agree with this. As one of my former co-workers so eloquently put it, “If cat’s had a middle finger they would flip you off.” (Imagine this being said by an enormous man with a Kentucky drawl who specialized in agriculture issues, mainly tobacco farming.)

    Suffice it to say that dogs are in every way superior to cats. Dogs are loyal and friendly. Dogs are helping to fight the war on terrorism by sniffing for explosives. They help the blind and the needy.

    When was the last time people caught in an avalanche were saved by a rescue cat? Have you seen the blind being led through the streets by seeing-eye-cats?

    Enough said.

  38. Lamonte on September 30, 2005 at 2:00 pm

    Nate – Thanks for your vote of confidence. I’m usually bombarded by cat lovers whenever I speak the truth about their evil nature.

  39. B Bell on September 30, 2005 at 2:00 pm

    I also wanted to add to TMD comments.

    Deer numbers were so low by 1900 that many states in the east did not have a deer season at all for many years. Deer numbers gradually increased over the decades as hunting was controlled by the individual states game departments until they hit the current high point. Hunters paid for the management and enforcement of the game laws thru hunting lic sales and special taxes on hunting and fishing equipment.

    Deer are so numerous now that many places and states have large bag limits for hunters. Some in the south allow a hunter as many as 5 deer per year. Even with all of this hunting pressure the deer numbers are on average still rising.

    Many knowlegable observers believe that there are more deer now in the US then there were when the first settlers arrived. why? The habitat has been modified in the deers favor by Humans. Plus the deer herds are no longer competing in the eastern US with elk and Bison for forage like they did a few hundred years ago.

  40. Jesse on September 30, 2005 at 2:01 pm

    William Morris:

    I must confess. It’s true. I am a genius.

    Nate:

    And of course, one can always wok the dog if the food supply breaks down. That excellent and pragmatic use of canines notwithstanding, your strong expression of preferrence for dogs over cats is no proof of their objective superiority, rather, it simply demonstrates the incontrovertible fact of your carnal, sensual and devilish nature.

  41. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 2:07 pm

    I actually ate dogs on my mission. Very tasty. I note, however, that to my knowledge no culture has elevated cat meat to the level of a delicacy. Indeed, in Korea dog meat (gaekogi) is highly valued and dog-meat soup (poshintang) is reputed to have remarkable medicinal powers. Cat’s — on the other hand — sneak into your closet and pea on your clothes.

  42. Jesse on September 30, 2005 at 2:08 pm

    Elisabeth:

    Might I recommend this classic film on the possibilities for controlling the deer population through natural, i.e., non-human, means. http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0064064/

  43. Russell Arben Fox on September 30, 2005 at 2:12 pm

    I like dogs. Big dogs. Big dumb dogs. Big dumb faithful slobbering dogs, the kind that will, you know, attack a tree, or perhaps a road, or a lake, when they see it moving. These were the dogs that I knew while growing up: Collies and Huskies and Setters and Shepherds and sheepdogs and wolfhounds. They would run through the alfalfa fields, chase the hay bailer, and occasionally get caught in it. (The resulting bale of hay was never a pretty sight.) The kind that would chase small children and knock them over, who would then grow up and learn to chase the dogs back in return.

    Don’t give me any of those refined dogs. If you want refinement, get a cat. I like cats. They purr when you stroke them. They’re warm. They’ll go to sleep in the crook of your arm. You catch them staring at you unawares, prompting helpful existential crises. They have ancient knowledge which they steadfastly refuse to share, preferring to cultivate an attractive aura of mystery. (This is unlike cows, the greatest of all domesticated beasts, who also have ancient knowledge, and who try to impart it, but we moderns are too busy to understand.) They are not kind, but they are beautiful, and beauty and refinement are their own virtues. Just not in dogs.

    Tiny, yipping, fancy, short-haired (or naked), mincing little toy dogs, with their upturned snouts and manicured paws. I have nothing against dog shows, featuring legitimate, healthy, barking, squirrel-chasing, pink-tongued breeds. But those others–they are an abomination. A crime against nature. They are perverted cat/dog things. (Bill Murray warned us about this in Ghostbusters.) Keep them away from me and my children.

  44. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 2:14 pm

    RAF: You are way, way too kind to cats.

  45. Jesse on September 30, 2005 at 2:20 pm

    Nate:

    There is a very simple reason why cats have not become a delicacy.

    When the master says, “Come Rex, let’s go out to the woodshed, where it will be more convenient to relieve you of that excess, useless baggage hanging on the distal end of your neck,” Rex happily tags along.

    A cat, on the other hand, would have the good sense never to start following the “master” around in the first place.

    Their is a spiritual analogy here. Dogs have clearly failed to properly use their agency, and as a result, we constantly see them bound down by the chains of their evil masters. Cats, however, are anxiously engaged in a good cause, i.e., their own darn business, and, as fully responsible agents unto themselves are obviously the more enlightened species.

  46. Jesse on September 30, 2005 at 2:23 pm

    Blast that standardized spelling thingy….

    Should have been “There,” not “their.”

    Obviously, there are gaps in my geniusnes.

  47. yossarian on September 30, 2005 at 2:29 pm

    Go macchiavelli up on the deer. Kill it as a warning to other ne’er do well deer. Then stuff it and put it in your garden in a submissive pose. Show them who rules the pumpkin provinces. Also if things get desperate use the American-Phillipine tactics for handling the deer insurgency. You can’t let your garden be overrun by the axis of evil, deer, squirrels, and pests. The deer are either with you or against you, and you cannot negotiate with evil.

  48. manaen on September 30, 2005 at 2:32 pm

    43
    Russell, as a recovering owner of dogs and cats — you’re killing me! I cried from laughter!

  49. Kaimi on September 30, 2005 at 2:32 pm

    Nate,

    Your patriotism is deficient. Deer should be honored. After all, the ancient Nephites rode trained deer into battle. Who would not flee before the terrifying banners of the war-deer legions?

    I recommend that you try this yourself. Use a pumpkin to lure the deer into a trap. Lasso the deer. And train it as a steed. Then you could be a traveling celebrity, attending Nephite pageants throughout the country, the famous war-deer rider, Nate Oman.

  50. Justin H on September 30, 2005 at 2:36 pm

    Cat’s – on the other hand – sneak into your closet and pea on your clothes.

    Now if you could just get them to pumpkin on your clothes, too, you wouldn’t even need a garden, and your deer problem would be solved!

    My other favorite line from this thread so far:

    Another factor is that in Suburban/urban areas human hunting for the obvious reasons has been banned.

    So can I still shoot hobos as long as I do it in rural areas?

  51. Ryan Bell on September 30, 2005 at 2:39 pm

    I like when a whimsical discussion shows up at T&S. Every once in a while, it’s nice to be reminded that RAF is a funny guy.

  52. Jesse on September 30, 2005 at 2:43 pm

    We suburbanites value our obvious reasons and would hate to see them wantonly slaughtered by cold-hearted hunters.

    We’d rather run them down in our SUVs.

  53. John Mansfield on September 30, 2005 at 2:47 pm

    “’[Isaac] Hale was a mighty hunter,” wrote Rev. George Peck, a Methodist Episcopal minister who frequently visited the Hales because they were of like religious persuasion. “In fact, [Hale] … fixed his home in this new region for the purpose of pursuing game. … He slaughtered about 100 deer annually, most of which he sent to the Philadelphia market. He often killed bears and elks, as well as a great variety of smaller game, of the flesh of which I often partook at his table.”

    Two observations: 1) How many men read this quote in the February 2001 Ensign and fell into a deep depression that they had been born 200 years too late? 2) More proof of Joseph Smith’s amazingness that he could get away with eloping with the daughter of such a man.

  54. Mark B. on September 30, 2005 at 2:52 pm

    Actually, since this is a more or less religious blog, we should get to the real reason for the deer overpopulation problem: Too much fornicating by those horned deer. (OK, I know they’re antlers, not horns.)

  55. Mark on September 30, 2005 at 2:55 pm

    Seen in a pet food store:

    If you can:

    eat the same food every day and be grateful for it.

    understand when those you love don’t have time for you.

    not hold grudges.

    always be happy to see someone.

    forgive and forget.

    always be ready to play.

    THEN, congratulations, my friend. You are almost as good as your dog.

  56. Justin H on September 30, 2005 at 2:57 pm

    LOL, Mark B, and it gives us a pseudodoctrinal justification for your control suggestion in comment#1–I’d rather see the deer on my property in a pine box than see them lose their virtue…

  57. Sara R on September 30, 2005 at 3:08 pm

    I found a page about deer repellents: http://www.extension.umn.edu/projects/yardandgarden/AAMG/wildlife/deer.html. The main ingredient in the more successful ones is eggs. Carla Emery’s “Encyclopedia of Country Living” says that some people have success just by throwing a few egg shells into the garden. And in the section in her book about Lyme disease, one idea for prevention is to “eat venison.”

  58. MeliLI on September 30, 2005 at 3:38 pm

    When there are already a herd of 6 dear in your backyard, you can walk down the street and count hundreds of deer in 15-20 minutes and every doe in the spring has twins and triplets, you too will want a good predator.

    Melinda, now happily far away from Princeton NJ.

  59. lyle on September 30, 2005 at 3:49 pm

    Russell: You forget the biggest & best dogs: Mastiffs. Ah…so cute and powerful enough to ride into battle. Kaimi’s reindeer riding ideas are quaint at best.

  60. D. Fletcher on September 30, 2005 at 3:56 pm

    Contrary to what we might perceive from Bambi, deer live in an extremely ruthless society. Wolves, on the other hand, are thoughtful caregivers, often adopting the pups of other wolf families with dead or missing parents.

  61. Elisabeth on September 30, 2005 at 4:18 pm

    Lyle – lighten up. Of course I know that our Congress has these little critters’ (don’t forget the plants!) best interests at heart in rewriting the ESA – especially removing that pesky language about “critical habitat”. Who needs that? Seriously, though, if you look at their impeccable environmental record over the last few years – how we’re leading the world in our efforts to reduce global warming, how we’re protecting our air and water from polluters – not to mention making sure our national treasures like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge remain pristine for future generations–you’d soon see (as I do) that there’s really nothing to worry about at all.

    Jesse and Frank: You have me figured out all wrong. Love the sinner, but hate the sin, I say. I’m sorry for the carnage those little rascals left behind, but please forgive them, Nate. They know not what they do.

    TMD: I think we’re saying the same thing – deer like humans because it’s easier to live with the humans (who have taken away their habitat). I don’t consider myself much of an easterner, though. Was that a compliment?

    Jesse: thanks for the movie recommendation. Where is Godzilla when you need him (her?).

  62. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 4:22 pm

    Elisabeth is clearly a paid shill for the deer-industrial complex.

  63. B Bell on September 30, 2005 at 4:26 pm

    Elizabeth is clearly being paid under the table by Bambi’s father for permission to munch on Nates pumpkins.

  64. Frank McIntyre on September 30, 2005 at 4:30 pm

    Next, Elisabeth will inform us how, even though she won’t raise a finger to stop the carnage, some of her best friends are pumpkin-Americans.

    Whatever words you use, Elisabeth. It is blatantly apparent that you are “objectively pro-deerist,” to quote George Orwell.

  65. Jesse on September 30, 2005 at 4:43 pm

    Elisabeth:

    In my experience, the “sinners” in question are not worthy of my hatred. On the contrary, they are quite tasty.

    And I believe that in her most recent movie, it was revealed that Godzilla is an extremely attentive mother, who was just doing her best to find a nice place to raise her children. It was just inconveniently located in NY City.

  66. Mark B. on September 30, 2005 at 4:54 pm

    Yes, we humans have taken away the poor Eastern Whitetail Deer’s habitat–that wild, nature red in tooth and claw, dog eat dog, wolf eat fawn, environment–and replaced it with suburban gardens, shrubs, all kinds of other deer goodies, free from bears, wolves, redneck gun-toting killers (mostly). Sounds as if the deer have done pretty well for themselves, even if all those houses, cars and asphalt roads don’t look “wild”. Let me know if you hear the deer complaining.

  67. Nate Oman on September 30, 2005 at 4:58 pm

    Mark B: If you want to talk about “nature” taking advantage of man, deer are the least of our worries. On my view, agriculture is something that grass did to mankind in order to get rid of the trees. The devilish cleverness of those cereal plants. No wonder they have turned out to but such evolutionary winners. I can’t help be feel manipulated, however.

  68. jak on September 30, 2005 at 5:02 pm

    Many years ago when I was growing up on a dairy farm in northern Idaho, we took in an orphaned fawn just a few days old. It was such a rewarding experience that even my father, who was a life-long deer hunter, refused to kill or eat another deer. The fawn, Penny, and my dog, Freckles, were great friends and would take turns chasing each other all over the yard and pasture. Penny would come up the front steps and make her deer noise until we would open the front door so she could come in and walk around the house, check out the garbage can for banana peels (her favorite) and see what was on the television. Another favorite of hers was Vicks menthol cough drops that my dad kept in the front pocket of his bib overalls.

    Every morning when the school bus would turn into my driveway to pick me up, Penny would follow me onto the bus, wait until I sat down, give me a kiss and turn around and get off the bus while the other kids would pet her along the way. In the afternoons the bus would let me off about a quarter mile from the house and every day the dog and the deer would be standing at the side of the road waiting for me. I have no idea how they knew what time it was, but I won’t ever believe that deer have “pea brains”! The dog had never met me like that before the deer came along.

    During hunting season my mother would make sure Penny had something red around her neck to let the hunters know she was a pet. One year it was one of the legs from my brother’s red pajamas. She was hit by a car when she was about 3 years old. I, obviously, have never forgotten her.

  69. Heather Oman on September 30, 2005 at 5:25 pm

    “What are you going to do with your pumpkins- let them rot on your porch after gutting them and scarring them with some attempt at a scary face? At least they were put to good use.”

    Excuse me. Some of us know how to make homemade pumpkin pie.

    And even if we do make a scary face that will delight my 3 year old, I would still think it would be put to good use. I like to delight my child.

    And spending hours tilling, weeding, planting, watering, and overall cultivating the earth, only to have some scavenger eat my pumpkins just pisses me off. They could have eaten my beans, and I wouldn’t have cared. We had lots of those, and they’re green–more cholorphyll, or whatever. That has to be good for them, right? But no, the beasts go after my pumpkins, the first pumpkins to be grown in our lot. Evil spawn of Satan.

    The vermin are probably in league with the cats, who are even now plotting new ways to take over the world by peeing in as many closets as possible.

  70. Kaimi on September 30, 2005 at 5:30 pm

    Frank,

    You may think Elisabeth is a “pro-deerist” shill. But I must say, I consider her one of my deerist friends.

  71. TMD on September 30, 2005 at 6:27 pm

    Elisabeth–I have no idea if you’re an easterner…I am…so certainly it’s not a derogatory comment (all to often, one finds the westerner rather uninformed about eastern ecoloigical conditions…case in point–I’m endlessly ammused when driving through the countryside with someone recently from the west because of their fascination with the absence of irrigation in farming and just how ‘green’ it all seems…but I digress). Basically, in conjunction with B Bell, my point is that the deer are moving into places (i.e. the suburbs) that they haven’t lived regularly and in substantial numbers in more than a 100-150-180 years, because– despite they have their habitat back–lots of deer seem to prefer the human suburban environment to their traditional, bambi-type forest habitat. (apparently, these suburbs have draws beyond good schools, as its hard to imagine the deer caring about that) Obviously, this would not be possible without humans living there. And indeed, deer once considered these areas their habitat (much as did the indians, who are also long gone from PA-OH-WV), though, it’s certainly been a while. If that’s what you’re saying, then we agree…but I will still blame the deer for prefering the suburbs to their natural habitat, which is out there in abundance for them…

  72. manaen on September 30, 2005 at 10:27 pm

    So, we’re talking about the righteous Nephites waiting for deer/horses to ride in on to the temple where they’ll join celestial choirs instead of settling now for the Smashing Pumpkins? Maybe Ed & Tony could outline the story for us.

  73. Sarah on September 30, 2005 at 10:56 pm

    I like the deer. They have scared my baby sister into driving far more cautiously than her 16 years of life and hours of lectures from her older siblings and parents ever could have caused. Why, the last herd she nearly ran into was a more effective “drive like you’re about to die” lesson than all the car crashes her friends have been in put together. I say yay for the deer.

    As a side benefit, I can also recognize all of our family cars (except the new one) thanks to their own unique deer-incident dent patterns.

  74. Kent Larsen on September 30, 2005 at 11:15 pm

    Hmmm..

    No. I’ve never had a deer problem. They’ve never nibbled in my garden or on my lawn.

    Oh, wait, that’s right. I don’t have a garden.

    I don’t even have a lawn!!!

    Ahhhh, the pleasures of the urban life!

    Venison stake comes from a supermarket.

  75. Chad Too on October 1, 2005 at 3:39 am

    No, Kent, the Venison Virginia Stake was created by Elder Marvin J. Ashton in 1986 when the Miracle-Gro Stake had just gotten too large and needed to be split. You should check out the pumpkins they grow on the Stake Farm.

  76. danithew on October 1, 2005 at 8:58 am

    This thread has been fun to read.

    I too like dogs. For some reason my favorite dogs in life have been Chinese breeds — a Chow Chow and a pug. Very different sizes and temperaments. But they were each noble and loving in their own way.

    Cats can be very cool too, though I’m more of a dog person.

    Years ago (while living in New Jersey) I had a co-worker who totaled two cars hitting deer. His car collided with the second deer almost exactly a year from the date that he hit the first one. The day after the second, the staff at the office decorated his office with a deer’s head on the wall and a smaller model deer covered with red-stained bandages. He took one look at it and went to another office to sit and had his coffee. Poor guy. He should have sued for harassment.

  77. LisaB on October 1, 2005 at 11:38 am

    Jesse #40. Wow. Genius and humble, too! Well Genius, can you explain your apostasy reference in #27? I thought that was Nate’s mom, not Nate. BTW, I think you should just sign all your posts “Genius” from here on out. Better yet, “Sheer Genius.”

    Nate #15. Um, Nate, pumpkins don’t have blood. But here, have your cake and eat it, too.

    Venison-Stuffed Pumpkin:
    1 pumpkin
    2 leeks
    2 tbsp olive oil
    2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    2 tbsp chpped fresh thyme
    2 tbsp paprika
    1 tsp tumeric
    2 c cooked brown rice
    1 can crushed tomatoes
    1 c Cheddar cheese, grated
    1 c roasted venison, shredded
    salt and pepper

    Cut the top from the pumpkin, about 2 inches down. Set this aside for the lid. Scoop out the seeds and most of the flesh, leaving a thin shell. Chop the pumpkin flesh and set this aside also. Clean and chop the leeks. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the leeks, garlic, thyme, and spices. Fry for about 10 minutes then add the pumpkin flesh and continue to cook until golden stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Remove from heat and add the cooked rice, the crushed tomato, pine nuts, and the venison. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Spoon the mixture into the pumpkin shell and bake for between 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours in a moderate oven until the flesh has softened and the skin has browned. Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 or 15 minutes. Cut into wedges to serve.

    Nathan Nathan pumpkin eater
    Had a deer but couldn’t keep her
    Put her in a pumpkin shell
    And there he ate her very well

    Or if the pumpkin is unsalvagable–venison tastes really good baked in a garlic & onion tomato sauce.

  78. LisaB on October 1, 2005 at 11:47 am

    oops… forgot the 1/2 c pine nuts in the ingredients list

  79. Stephen M (Ethesis) on October 1, 2005 at 12:18 pm

    The vermin are probably in league with the cats, who are even now plotting new ways to take over the world by peeing in as many closets as possible.

    Ahh, you’ve read Kipling. ;)

  80. Stephen M (Ethesis) on October 1, 2005 at 12:19 pm

    Quite possibly the most dyspeptic, yet clueless, onymous Mormon group blog in history

    Must be a comment on Deer.

  81. Mohandas K. on October 1, 2005 at 12:26 pm

    The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.

  82. John S. Mill on October 1, 2005 at 12:29 pm

    The reasons for legal intervention in favor of children apply not less strongly to the case of those unfortunate slaves – - the animals.

  83. The Smiths on October 1, 2005 at 12:32 pm

    [Deer] whines could be human cries
    Closer comes the screaming knife
    This beautiful creature must die
    This beautiful creature must die
    A death for no reason
    And death for no reason is MURDER

    And the flesh you so fancifully fry
    Is not succulent, tasty or kind
    It’s death for no reason
    And death for no reason is MURDER

    And the [deer] that you carve with a smile
    Is MURDER
    And the turkey you festively slice
    Is MURDER
    Do you know how animals die ?

    Kitchen aromas aren’t very homely
    It’s not “comforting”, cheery or kind
    It’s sizzling blood and the unholy stench
    Of MURDER

    It’s not “natural”, “normal” or kind
    The flesh you so fancifully fry
    The meat in your mouth
    As you savour the flavour
    Of MURDER

    NO, NO, NO, IT’S MURDER
    NO, NO, NO, IT’S MURDER
    Oh … and who hears when animals cry ?

  84. Adam Greenwood on October 2, 2005 at 1:12 am

    “No doubt some day human beings will be beat out by gigantic cockroaches from another planet.”

    Wrong, wrong, WRONG. Any cockroach that can take us on will, naturally, be a more advanced creature, which means it would fully understand the symbiotic nature of interstellar life, the great web of etc., and so on. Which means we humans would be fully protected by cockroach rangers and a rigorous permit system. I for one welcome our new cockroach masters.

  85. tim on October 2, 2005 at 10:45 am

    I recommend the book Lehi in the Desert and also the World of the Jaredites. In this book Dr. Nibley deftly describes how mundane modes of travel were and how they would not have mentioned this in their accounts. For example, if you were to tell me you took a trip to San Francisco yesterday, I hardly would expect you to tell me you jumped into your Toyota Corolla and drove to the city. Rather, you would talk about how much fun you had while you were there, things you saw, and learned.

    Now about riding deer into battle. I would need to reexamine this; however, I do not think deer contain the necessary physical strength to hold a man with weapons, armor, etc, into battle with a sustained run.

    Just a quick thought.

    Thanks.

  86. manaen on October 2, 2005 at 12:18 pm

    PETP, PEOPLE FOR THE ETHICAL TREATMENT OF PLANTS announces this season’s campaign theme: “Save a pumpkin, eat a deer”

  87. Space Chick on October 3, 2005 at 1:06 pm

    Deer ARE evil–my husband just hit one at 75 mph last week. Luckily the brush bar on the front of the truck took the brunt of the impact. Mostly. Alas, deer are not nearly as yummy as caribou or moose (or horse) so there’s no sense trying to butcher the carcase. I think the buck was simply suicidal and decided to throw itself in front of the nearest moving vehicle–perhaps he’d been rejected by the does too many times (it IS rutting season in ND).

  88. Kurt on October 3, 2005 at 1:41 pm

    As far as repelling deer, complaining about it and calling them names isnt an effective means of deterance unless youre willing to do it in your garden 24×7. Try some chicken wire and stakes around your garden. If youre too lazy for that, or your garden is too big, try this very effective deterent:

    http://www.smarthome.com/6120.html

    If youre in a suburban area adjacent to some open land, an easy way to deal with deer is to feed them off your land with a salt block and some cracked corn feed, both of which are available at any feed store. A 50lb bag of cracked corn is dirt cheap, or get whatever is on sale at Southern States, and if you stock it regularly the deer will go there instead of into your yard, as will the squirrels. If youre in a rural area, its a great way to lure deer, so build a tree stand nearby. You won’t attract more deer than you already have living in the area, as deer are reasonably territorial, although you could impact the population come Spring because they arent being starved out.

    The reason deer are getting up into residential areas is because the MD/VA area is going through a drought, so the natural forage is poor or gone. So, theyre going to eat the stuff in your yard that youre watering, because its better than dried up leaves and twigs.

  89. Naomi Frandsen on October 15, 2005 at 6:31 pm

    Nate Oman is the greatest blogger of all time.

  90. annegb on October 17, 2005 at 12:15 pm

    I was with my first husband when he went hunting and he shot a deer and it was a terrible experience. The look in that deer’s eyes. I think he had a bigger brain than you would think.

    Well I will never do that again. I vote for finding some way to protect your pumpkins than shooting the deer. They are beautiful creatures. And they don’t taste all that good besides.

    Now, elk, that’s pretty tasty. They are like deer only bigger. I saw one on somebody’s wall once and I told my husband, “Jeff has the biggest deer you ever saw in your life on his story wall.” They look like majestic creatures as well.

    Men sometimes look noble, but they will stomp all over each other to get to the food. I tell people in my ward that my husband is a food whore because if you cook it, he will come.

  91. gst on October 17, 2005 at 1:59 pm

    Don’t kid yourself. Given the chance, the deer would have killed you and your husband, and destroyed everything dear to you.

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