My Ulterior Motive
At my place, they look for remains of bird seed set out beyond the fenced back yard. The sunflower-laden bird seed is OK in small quantities; however, specially formulated deer pellets or meal is best.
The DNR says: “Formulated deer food mixes consisting of corn, alfalfa, oats, soybeans, molasses and several vitamins and minerals are the best choice. If such a mix is not available, rabbit, goat or horse pellets which contain at least 12 percent protein can be used.”
With their pleading brown eyes—literal doe eyes!—and perhaps familiar intentions, not feeding them is a challenge for this animal lover of pathetically soft heart. I would never forgive myself if I poisoned them.
Most residents don’t bother with the deer. They might know of potentially dangerous effects. Or they are simply apathetic. But maybe they see a venison feast.
So I have another motive. To the west of my enclave lie farmland and nature preserve. Hunters with eager guns lease rights to shoot deer on farmers’ properties. Worse, the nature preserve, which is the size of a golf course, allows bow hunting.
To escape the torture of human predators, deer may head for my neighborhood. My road is very infrequently traveled and, by ordinance, hunter free. Deer know they might find some food here, and they linger in this safe place.
About the Author
Elizabeth G Fagan is a writer and artist who resides on Lake Michigan’s shoreline in southeastern Wisconsin—a place she calls Lake Michigan’s Left Coast. She has been a professional writer for more than 35 years.
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Fagan attended The Hammonasset School, a private arts high school in Connecticut, where she began writing and taking photographs. She earned a BA in English at Grinnell College (Grinnell, Iowa) and the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC). She has an MA in Linguistics with a specialization in teaching English as a second language (ESL) from UIC. Fagan later gained an associate degree in Web Development from DePaul University in Chicago.
- “Art from Lake Michigan’s Left Coast,” Grinnell College Alumni Association
- Cedarburg Artists Guild
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