With the very minimal cover of snow we have in our area this year, it would be my guess that the deer are not being bothered greatly by their natural predator, the timber wolf. When the snow is deep it hinders the deer in running away and escaping a pack of hungry wolves.
It may not be something we enjoy thinking about but it's one of those laws of nature that one specie feeds another. Deer and wolves have both been surviving in our area for many more years than man has been present. Their own method of checks and balances is one with which we perhaps should not interfere.
Neither Papa Pea nor I have seen a timber wolf this winter but we have seen tracks in fresh snow in various spots around the property.
We have many deer and we frequently encounter them as we go in or out of our driveway through the woods. They also have well-trodden paths through the woods and we see them crossing our small hay field often going from one wooded area to another.
There is a particularly big deer that seems to get great pleasure from standing at the curve of the driveway at the bottom of the hay field and taunting the granddogs. The deer stands like a statue glaring as the dogs bound out to the perimeter of their fenced in area barking up a storm. Smart deer knows the dogs can't get close enough to give him a run for his money.
Watching this scenario being played out again a few minutes ago reminded me of a very unusual wolf/deer encounter Papa Pea and I saw and heard years ago.
It was early summer time and we were living on our first piece of property in this area. Papa Pea was out in the west field cutting hay when out of the corner of his eye, he saw a deer burst out of the woods to the south followed in hot pursuit by a wolf. The pair streaked across the open field and disappeared into the woods partially separating our house area from the west field. Papa Pea shut off the tractor and because the windows of the house were all open, I looked out to see if he had a problem. I had not seen the deer and wolf chase as he had so all I saw was him sitting on the tractor staring into the thick woods.
We knew that a doe had birthed twin fawns that spring and was raising them in the big patch of woods. It was into this very area that the deer closely followed by the wolf disappeared. As Papa Pea watched this drama play out, we heard the screaming of what I assumed was most likely the little fawns. Not having seen the deer or the wolf going into the woods, I had no idea what was going on but knew immediately something had happened to the fawns and they were in trouble.
It seemed no more than seconds had passed before both Papa Pea and I heard the sounds of animals crashing about wildly in the woods. Before either of us had a chance to do anything, out of the woods going back in the direction they had come were the deer and wolf. But this time, and we could hardly believe what we were seeing, the wolf was running flat out as fast as he possibly could with the deer chasing him! It was apparently the mama deer and she. was. mad. Both wolf and deer went down the steep hill to the creek and up the opposite bank and disappeared into the woods.
Papa Pea was about to venture into the woods to see if he could locate the fawns, not knowing what carnage he would find.
Before he even got across the field to enter the woods, mama deer came running back again and straight into where her fawns were.
We decided going into the woods with this already extremely upset deer was not the best idea and made the decision to let nature take its course.
The ending to this bizarre happening was a happy one. The fawns survived the incident unscathed. We never knew what actually happened when the fawns, the doe and the wolf were in the woods for those couple of minutes.
All we knew for sure was that the fawns had had a very scary encounter and now knew what The Big Bad Wolf looked like.
Lamb in The Warming Oven
1 hour ago