Return visitors, please be sure to read the addendum below.

 

Since we put up the Deer in the Yard web page we've received thousands of web visits and many e-mails. Most everyone who writes to us simply wishes to express their appreciation and awe at how humans and deer can co-exist. A few people, however, have wondered about deer who trust us and then too easily trust the deer hunters. I'll comment on that in a moment. As for the question about flowers, yes, the deer go insane over a fresh flower. Some flowers in the photos are on our balcony, which we keep closed off unless we invite one of the deer up. Then we keep a close eye on the guy. It's hard to tell what flowers they won't eat as different deer have different tastes, but they mostly seem to stay away from rosemary, lavender, daisies, and oleander. We keep a fence around the apple tree and only let them eat the apples that fall off. As for pooping on the lawn, our deer are nice enough to go into the woods for that. Maybe they don't want to mess up the clover.


As for deer and hunters, we thank you for your concern. Fortunately hunting is not allowed in our area. Even though rather remote, there are houses dotting the landscape, and I think hunting would be dangerous to the humans. However, with all respect to those people who posed the question, I have to say that I believe the idea of deer endangered by friendship with humans is a specious complaint. Deer suffer far more from people driving too fast. The idea that a deer we befriend would then trust a hunter and walk right into his gun sight seems unlikely to me. I understand how people could think that, but if you know deer well, and understand something about the hunter's perspective, the whole concern seems misplaced.

I know people love to hunt deer, eat their reportedly tasty flesh, and display their mounted heads on the living room wall. Those lovely heads, severed and then frozen in death on a wall - that's always given me the creeps. But as for hunting and eating, I have to be reasonable and understand that people have been hunting deer for as long as deer and people have lived together. I'm admittedly more on the side of the deer, especially since we are vegetarians. We've sometimes thought that being strict vegetarians has something to do with them liking us. It's not outside the realm of possibility that they sense we don't eat them, or any other meat. I wouldn't be surprised if they can smell that on our skin. All that means nothing to a clever hunter, however. Deer are plentiful, and follow strict migration patterns. It may not be easy for a hunter to kill a deer just by walking into the woods, but really, when it comes to human against deer, well, let's just say you don't see a lot of human heads stuffed and hanging on trees in the wild.videos

As I mentioned on the web page, our home was their migration area long before we came, and we were surprised that they befriended us at all. However we figured out that it has a LOT to do with our attitude and manner, and as I said, perhaps even that our diet is not so different from theirs. In a curious way, I see a parallel between our manner with the deer and our style of music. Truthfully, they seem to be far smarter than we could have imagined. When a stranger comes near they look to us to see our reaction, and even then they are very careful, usually running into the woods that surround our house. If we are in the house where they can't see us, they don't seem to trust others at all, and are gone in a second when they hear something threatening. They have remarkable hearing. Often we are hanging out with them and long before we do, they will hear a dog or a person walking nearby. They all freeze for a moment to listen carefully, and then they usually disappear into the woods, often faster than we can follow their movements. Even while running they are completely silent, and their coats blend perfectly into the color and shading of the woods. I'm in the back yard sometimes and some time later I notice a couple deer only 20 feet away, laying down, casually rechewing their food. If I wasn't so curious and observant, I never would have seen the guys.

Maybe our deer are smarter than others. I don't know, but I doubt it. I believe they have a highly developed sensitivity to their environment. We have a neighbor not too far away who told us that the deer come to her property to die when they get old. It's uncanny, like the fabled elephant burial grounds. She says the very old deer slowly come to her land around her house, lay down and pass away. There's a long native American tradition in this area that, because we still have a few native Americans, may contribute to the respect the deer feel from us. This is all conjecture, but since we moved into their area, instead of them moving here because of overpopulation, like in many suburban areas, we always felt it was their choice to befriend us. We don't go out of our way to attract them, aside from being nice, and giving them head and back massages that they seem to love. We planted clover on the lawn, initially for our pleasure, but it turns out they love clover more than we do. It is illegal to build fences in our area, precisely so the wild animals can roam freely.

As I say, only a few people have wondered about how our friendliness may make deer more susceptible to hunters. I appreciate the motivation behind the concern, and not to specifically accuse the folks who wrote, but I wonder about people who speak out about protecting animals, and yet regularly eat meat. I'm just guessing this is the case many times. The following is part of my belief system - I think the way most people eat meat, and most especially the way we factory grow animals for slaughter, is not only morally reprehensible in regards to our treatment of animals, but with chemicals and hormones pumped into our "food," the enormous amount of water and feed required to raise "animal products," the mountains of animal waste in feces, blood and guts that regularly gets dumped into the ground and unwisely used for fertilizer, as well as the cost to our health to eat far more meat and fat than humans seem designed to process (did you know it takes 10 pounds of feed to produce one pound of meat? Assuming politcians and corporations had a sense of morality, couldn't we help to feed the starving humans in the world if we all stopped eating meat or simply ate less?), all this seems to me to be a far greater problem than a hypothetical dumb deer befriending a hunter. As I said, I don't think they are that dumb anyway. It's true that they have a poor appreciation for technology, and as their eyesight is not their most developed sense, they do have a problem understanding an oncoming car traveling at a speed nearly unheard of in the animal world. Shouldn't we be more concerned about how we rampently run them over, but more importantly how we shoot them for fun, and so often carelessly pollute their environment?

Perhaps I have a naive optimism about the world, but I strongly believe that our intentions and actions resonate far wider than most people, even mainstream scientists, currently believe possible. Our small contact with one extended deer family seems like a useful experiment in regaining some kind of balance between humans and the Nature that we have all too often forgotten we are but one part.

 

 

 

Addendum

 

In just a recent one month period the Deer in the Yard web page received over 225,000 visits. We have received hundreds of e-mails (please excuse us if we don't write everyone back). We have been ridiculed on at least one hunter's website, and a magazine in New Zealand asked for permission to republish the site in print form. While the vast majority of e-mails have been supportive and even in awe of our relationship to these mostly gentle creatures, some people have accused us of hurting the deer by convincing them that humans can be trusted. Our response has generally been that the deer are not as dumb as people think, and I believe our experience with them demonstrates that. After years of living here, they don't seem any more trusting of humans than they were when we arrived. Despite the photographs, they still are very easily startled by any strange movement we may make, and they continue to totally mistrust strangers. Some people will continue to disbelieve this, and many hunters will probably still continue to think our behavior is laughable. I don't blame the hunters for hunting. I do wish they all had the same respect for the animals they kill that Native Americans reputedly had. It has surprised me as to how many devout Christians have seen our actions as proof that humans can so "love all God's creatures" and at the same time in such large numbers complain about their own presumably "Christian" neighbors who seem to find delight in killing deer only for sport. There seems to be a real disconnect in America over love and death. In describing Eros and Thanatos, psychologists and philosophers have made revealing pronouncements about humans that I encourage people to look up.

Just to make a few points clear: We did not build this house on the deer's home. We moved into a 20 year old house that the deer are now quite used to. That humans have done this all over the planet may suggest that it is time we consider moving some of us to other planets. Before the critics make fun of me for that last comment, let me just say that I believe it to be hubris and ignorance to think evolution has stopped with the current state of humanity. Again, look it up. We used to give the deer an almond or two from time to time, but especially because we stopped the rare treat, I believe they really come to us because we are nice to them and our yard offers water, edible vegetation and a safe environment. They also peacefully visit other homes in our neighborhood. We are amused about the idea that they most likely have different names when they arrive at someone else's home. One person wrote and told us that deer are simply rats with long legs. I realize that increases in deer population has caused a strain on the environment, but I have great concerns about how people are so quick to point their fingers at Nature, deer in this case, without acknowledging the "human rats" who so ignore the consequences of greed and environmental irresponsibility. I would think the hunters would be the first to want to protect the environment. I'm heartened by those few who wrote us with that very thought in mind. Oh, and yes, we know that deer are called "does" and "bucks." There seems to be some confusion over us calling one deer "Ram." We named him after Rama, the Hindu god who is often also called simply Ram.

I encourage people to look around our site, especially the Multiverse page, as I do agree that our ideas are indeed strange, but these ideas are largely based on either Eastern philosophy thousands of years old and mostly unfamiliar in the West, or science so new that even many scientists are reluctant to travel from the mainstream in order to explore it. There is such a thing as neophobia, fear of the new. I believe that if we do not overcome that fear, humanity may not survive. I truly feel sorry for those who delight in making fun of us, or worse.

Clearly the enormous interest in this subject and the comments we've received suggests evidence of both great compassion as well as great ignorance. We don't claim to be the final authorities on the subject of how humans do or should behave with wild creatures. We've learned a lot from a variety of well written e-mails. I've been shocked at how crass some can be, but also deeply touched by the simple appreciation and good will of others. I never would have thought that our humble tableau would have struck such a deep chord. I pray we all learn something useful.

 


 

A few of your e-mails about the Deer in the Yard


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Thank you so much for sharing these touching photos and your wonderful layout....the photos and text bring tears to my eyes.
- Sharon

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As a Penobscot Elder, I love to see scenes such as your pictures which shows that we are all part of the fabric of spiritual connectiveness; only by living a spiritual life can our physical lives touch those of the other creatures of K'chi Newisk (Great Spirit). Thank you for this lesson.
- Watie

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Wow! Those are the most awesome pics! I wish I had a bunch of deer to hang out with!!! They are so neat! Thanx for blessing me with your pictures!
- C. B.

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Thank you. Thank you for sharing your "home" with the world. As a hunter, I appreciate the neutral approach you take with your presentation of hunters. Yes, for some it is the thrill of the kill. I thank you for not labeling all hunters as such. I believe those are far and few but presented, at times, as the majority. For others, myself included, it is more about being in the woods than anything else. Again, I thank you for your thoughtful presentation of hunters. Here's hoping the rest of the world won't come and try beating a self-righteous path to your door so you might continue to enjoy your little slice of heaven.
- Mike

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Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone. There is a Native American Legand about the Rainbow Warriors that states that many will come from all walks of life for the protection of Mother Earth and her children. It is a shame that all hunters of wild animals do not take a page from tribal teachings of respect and care for our heritage of earth. I truely believe you can be classified among the Rainbow Warriors as you not only commune with nature, you have touched it in such a wonderous way. God bless you and your deer friends. I love to see sites and pictures like these.
- Virginia

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I so wish that our news stations could report good news for a change. All we get is doom and gloom…they say it sells. Yours is a good news story which I thoroughly enjoyed. Thank God for the internet. Best to you and yours,
- Pat

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I'm quite sure that with the flood of emails you must receive, that you will most likely not get to read mine. But I send it to you now, like a message in a bottle, with a hope that something returns. As I write this, I'm planning later today to take my son on his first deer hunt. The season in Massachusetts is almost over, and this is his first year in the wild. The important thing is not that we take, or even see a deer. The important thing is that he learns his place in nature. I think the most wonderful thing I see from your site is not the amazing photos of these deer that you have been blessed with sharing your lives; but rather, it is the openness I see in what you say that compels me to write to you. I expected someone who would bash both hunters, and meat eaters. I was profoundly pleased to find quite the opposite.

I am an American by birth, and of mixed origins. Some of which are Abenaki and Mohawk. I am both proud of my heritage as an American, and a Native American, just as I am of being French Canadian and Irish on my mother's side! You see who we are comes as much from where we come from, as what we do. And I come from the land, in one way or the other, and I choose to live as part of the land. I've long been troubled by the polarity that I see in many issues that tend to divide us as people. The debate on meat vs. vegetarian and hunter vs. anti-hunter is particularly troubling to me. Hunting and fishing are a large part of my heritage, and I find in it a way that I can reconnect to our land. And although taking an animal is not in itself the goal, it is still part of the goal. But it has to be done responsibly, and with reverence and care. My belief in a God requires it.

I see the world not as a straight line, as many western philosophers do. I see the world more a circle, endlessly repeating and rejuvenating. In that creation, in that universe, the unfortunate dichotomy of life is that things consume other things. This is as true for the vegetarian as it is for the carnivore. It is a universe of consumption. I also see that we are not separate from nature. Rather than apart from nature, I see that we are a part of nature. In that circle, we have our place. And for those that choose to eat meat, we need to likewise take responsibility for where that meat comes from. This is my position.

From your website I can (I think) very clearly see and respect your position. I can equally sense that you respect mine. In that, I find hope. I find hope that we (all of us) as a people can some day get along. It's not the deer, or the hunting, or the differences of opinion. It's about harmony. There is harmony in living with nature, as part of it. In that great creation there are many roles. You and I play different roles, but they are equally important to that creation. Far too often people of different roles expend valuable energy in trying to prove other perspectives wrong. This cause disharmony and goes against creation. To live in harmony and peace would be to respect and cherish our differences as much as our sameness. In only that way could we become and live like brothers. There will be wars in this world; there will be killings, both animal and human. To live in either extreme is the straight line of polarity that continues to divide us. The harmony of the circle is what we should strive for. When I read your words, I see someone like me, who can value the opinions and beliefs of others. Someone who does not feel that they must prove another wrong to prove themselves right. You very clearly and strongly believe what you believe, and you live your life accordingly. But most important, you leave me space to live mine also. In this, we can be equals, and respect one another. Your simple website about deer in your yard speaks volumes about how we should live our lives. Not by having deer in our yards, but by seeing and respecting others. It is a simple lesson, and I hope more people see it and learn. I did not find a place where (yet again) my life was being attacked. I found a place where all lives seem valued. They say that the greatest gift a person can ever give is hope; I thank you for giving me the hope that there are people of different opinions who can get along and respect each other. I hope that some day more people follow this path. Every December, around the Solstice, I find myself in the woods. I am a hunter, I am of the land, and I thank He who made me for the life I have been given. As I see the sun set on the last day of the winter, I think of this, and I give thanks for those in my life who make me whole. As I see that sun set this year, I will think of you, and offer thanks for you and yours. May whatever God you believe in go with you, and may the light follow you wherever you go.
- John

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Loved your photos, of course... We've had a family of black tail hanging out here at our Mill Valley, CA, property for the last couple of years, since we moved back here... 2 sets of twins. Here's one of our favorite characters (photos attached)... Faunus, surviving and thriving twin (Mother Flora, Sisiter Fauna disappeared when the babies still had spots). He is now about a year and a half. Many other deer come around... but Faunus is the most approachable, as he was born here and has known us since birth. He likes to have his neck scratched and his ears pulled... It's such an amazing privilege to have them visit...All the best to you and yours, What fun to see your pictures!
- Kadi and Tom and Faunus

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one of my sisters sent me your site. i was pleased. thank you
- Valerie

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As to your thoughts on the deer being able to smell the vegetarians. You are quite correct. I have trained horses all my life and have noticed this very same thing. A horse can tell a vegetarian from another. They have a more relaxed attitude when with vegetarians. I think they can smell the grease and meat in our systems. When smelling this meat and grease smell, they realize that they are in the presence of a possible predator. Have a gooden.
- Chuck

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Fantastic...Sent to me by a friend and it blew me away..You are so fortunate !!!!!Thanks..
- Jim

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Thanks for sharing your sacred experience. I long to live in such an environment. I communicate with animals and have shared friendship with Coyotes, Bobcat, Fox, Deer and almost a young Mountain Lion. Learning recently of my Apache ancestry explained much about my feelings of the land, animals, weather and such. I feel your great appreciation for this experience and thank you for the respect you show it. Be well and say hello to your babies for me.
- Daniel

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Bis nach Berlin sind die Bilder der Familie, die mit den Rehen lebt gekommen. Sie sind wunderschön. Danke dafür.
- Sybille

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How wonderful. I was so delighted to see such pictures. I knew there was still good people out there.
- MCC

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First let me say that your relationship with the deer is natural, just as most creatures on earth have a natural relationship to one another. Hunting is not a natural thing as it is done today. Hunting for food as a necessity as my American native family did was done out of need not sport. We have only survived on this earth because we learn to cohabitate with other life (though that survival is in great peril). Live and enjoy what most of us only wish we could. And thanks for sharing.
- M. Forgie

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Beautiful pictures :-) Keep up the good work.
- George

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Is the land you live on a no hunting area where the deer cannot be shot? I just worry that these deer are given a false sense of security by their trust in you that they can trust all humans.
- Karen

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Just want to say I truly enjoyed seeing the pictures. I think your home is second place of heaven. I would love to have a family of deers hanging out at my place. But with living in the city, I wouldn't suggest it. I would worried about them getting hit by a car. I thought I would let you know how much I enjoyed these pictures and part of me is jealous of your friends that hangs out with you at your home. The deers have so much trust with both of you. That means you have been blessed in many wonderful ways. Regards,
- Leslie

 


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Those are soooo majorly cuuuute! Wish I had deer in my yard!
- Christine

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This must be one of the most inspiring things I have seen in a very long time. When I was a child my great grandmother lived in Annapolis, Missouri and had several deer which would come up and drink from the stream as we sat on the small bridge, I was awed by that. This, however brings an entirely new aspect of communing with and respecting Mother Nature. I wish you many years and generations of happiness and harmony with this group of God's gentle creatures.
- Von

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Let me first say that I am a hunter (and Christian in belief) and admittedly love the taste of deer meat. However, I support the aspects of wildlife for many reasons. One is so people may be blessed with the beautiful experience you are able to enjoy. I have bow hunted also and have had deer within inches of myself (face to face) and trust me when I say that I enjoy more and more watching them versus shooting them. As a matter of fact I carry a camera now so I can shoot more often with less injury. I am thankful when I take a deer and do not waste it. I consume what I shoot. Yes I also have a few heads on the wall but I consider that a compliment to the animal I took and am proud to show his majestic antlers. I live in the deep south now and am appalled at some of the attitudes (rednecks are real people just like you and myself included). Please continue to build and update your website and I plan to support your efforts by buying a few items from your store for Christmas. I myself dream of retiring someplace to watch the deer and take only what I need now and then and live as much as possible off of the land as the Indians did, but remembering to be thankful for my blessings. I will now state the fact that I do not agree with the non-feeding of animals. If we improve their forage we improve their ability to overcome sickness and cold winters and perhaps they can live longer and healthier lives. Mostly hunters improve the situation for deer and strive to improve the herds but it is the poacher and non-moral hunter who does give us a bad name. All I can do is bow my head in shame that they are a part of us. Let me finish by saying, I applaud your website, your open mind, and willingness to accept that there are differences in this world without seemingly passing judgment. Please keep up the website!!
- Jerry

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They are certainly tame. Hope a hunter doesn't get them because they are so tame and apparently unafraid of humans. Good Luck with them.
- J.B.

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My husband and I had a situation much like yours, with friends who visited daily. We were also the hostel/hospice for aged creatures who would spend a brief time with us before it was time to move on to the next step. There were two UPS drivers who came to our house. One was a hunter. The other loved our friends and was armed only with a camera. When the hunter was driving we'd know the truck was coming long before we could see or hear it because everyone would melt into the brush--including the birds--and the yard would appear to be deserted. In spite of rattles and dust, if the second man was driving everyone stayed put. Both men were carnivores so it was not smell. We decided that the deer use ESP. Thank you for your lovely website.
- Shirley

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How utterly beautiful. The friend who sent this to me lives with wild life also, in the Florida pan handle woods with her family. They have that special rapport with them as you do. She has grandchildren who are learning to co-exist with animals also. When I call her I can hear the turkeys and fowl in the background. Orphaned babies often find their way to her and she cares for them until they can care for themselves. Her daughter has horses and dogs - every stray or cast off is welcomed and cared for, wounds bond up and healed. She has owned show horses and traveled to Europe showing her horses and others. She is a hands on care giver to animals. Her razorback hog runs out to greet visitors along with sundry breeds and half breeds of dogs. Her horses come running to the fence to greet you also. They have given me a better understanding and appreciation of the animal kingdom. Thank you for sharing this photographic legacy on the deer.
- Janice

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How do you keep the hunters at bay? Loved the pictures!
- P.J.

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Thanks for the great web site, I loved it.
- Don

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Hello. I just wanted to say thank you for having such a wonderful website with pictures of your beautiful four-legged friends! Reading your comments and ideas helps me a great deal. I try to be a non-meat-eater (I eat eggs and fish still, so I don't like to call myself vegetarian), but it is sometimes hard to keep up with it. Although there are now many products that "recreate" the idea of meat without actually using meat, like those veggie burgers and stuff like that, I still sometimes crave a hotdog or some other "mystery meat" product that we are so accustomed to eating. It is especially hard, because people who do eat meat don't seem to really get the whole idea, and many times you get tempted with meat (very hard to deal with it when you're hungry) out of the best of intentions. All I really wanted to say is that your site helps me in those times of temptation, because I do believe that animals are soooo much smarter than we can ever imagine, and your experience with the deer confirms that belief. Therefore, I can think back on not only my experiences, but also yours the next time I have to make a decision of "what's for dinner?" Thank you!!!!

P.S. It is funny when hunters say: "I just like the experience of being in the woods" as their excuse for hunting. Something like "I don't want to eat the in-humanely raised animals, but would rather eat only what I need and what I can get myself" would sound so much more logical as an explanation for hunting. If you like being in the woods, just be there! Without your gun! Thanks again for listening to my raving.
- Yanina

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What pictures!!! Must say what fortunate people you are. Continue to enjoy!
- Loulou

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I love this. You are very lucky.
- Kathy

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It is so wonderful to see deer and people live together. It says a lot for the people - the vibes must be great. I'm sorry I'm not in a good financial situation but wish you all the best for that help.
- Debbie

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I think I've just turned vegetarian.
- Rebecca

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Your deer pictures were sent me by a friend and I'm really amazed at how tame they are. Beautiful pictures!
- Pat

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Thank you all for a lovely experience browsing your website! I've been privleged to see a few intimate animal moments in my time, but I've never had the joy of being the friend of such a large amount of wild animals. I know they must bring you so much happiness. Thank you, too, for a message of hope. It's heartening to know that there are others who realize and practice the "what you put out, you get back--in spades" philosophy. Ah, if only human kind could think in harmony. I believe we'd realize that WE are causing the environmental disasters, the unruly "acts of God" are really the result of our own terrible thinking and acts toward each other and our planet. You're not the only one that believes expansion to other planets is necessary to save the human race. Mr. Stephen Hawking agrees with you! Best wishes,
- Bee

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A friend just emailed me Deers (sic) in the Yard. I'm concerned about their becoming so tame, it makes it easy for hunters to get them. How do you counter act that?
- Barb

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Thank you for sharing your pictures with us. They are absolutly wonderful. What a wonderful site to see everyday. Thank you again. Sincerely,
- Jody

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I noticed in your photos of the deer that you have been successful in growing flowers the deer leave alone. I have close friends who have their gardens eaten by deer and would love to know what they can grow to keep their gardens looking nice and still having the deer come into their yard.
- Judy

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These are amazing pictures and were enjoyed very much. I live in N.C., but have family living in Idaho and they also have deer, elk, moose, fox in their area/yard frequently. But, don't think like this. I would think their 'droppings' would not be fun to deal with on a daily basis!? Interesting. . . very interesting. Thank you for sharing.
- J.N.

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I hope that you then protect these animals who now have no fear of humans when others come with guns.
- Diane

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As I've grown older (and maybe grown up) I've increasingly found it harder and harder to kill or partake of Gods creatures. A friend sent me this Deer In The Yard and I've not only bookmarked it but sent it on to folks who will appreciate it every bit as much as I. My deepest thanks.
- Rich

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The pictures are just wonderful.
- Vicki

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I was so thrilled to view your photos of the deer/human interaction. My name is Carol. My husband and I are retired and live in a deer area also, exclusively whitetail. I am quite the animal lover and daily feed corn to our herd of deer. When making salads for supper, I always give them the leftovers. They also love bread. My question is how in the world did you get them to be so close to you? I can only remain about 20 ft. away from them, without them being bothered. I want to respect their space and be careful that they don't trust just anyone. But my heart longs to be closer to them, feed them from my hand, pet them, and let them know that I mean them no harm. I heard, not knowing if it's true, that they are repelled by the smell of human hair. Your thoughts? I would really appreciate chatting with you about the deer. If you have the time, please reply to this email. Thank you in advance,
- Carol

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Thank you for sharing your photos with us.
- sunnygirl194

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Thank you for not hoarding your wonderful experiences with these deer, but sharing them instead with the rest of the world. Putting together this website demonstrates that you love humanity as much as you love your deer neighbors. Many, many years ago I hunted deer. I loved being in the forest in the fall, sitting quietly and watching the forest slowly come back to life around me as all the animals resumed their activities once they got used to me being there. Often, whether or not I took a deer mattered little to me. Back then I loved the taste of venison, but I loved the feel of the forest a lot more. I had been told that native Americans used to utter this small prayer before they let their arrows fly: "May you be of service to my children, and I be of service to yours." That was pretty much the gist of it for me back when I hunted. Now, of course, I take the greatest pleasure in simply being a part of it all - God's creation, the handiwork of The Great Spirit. Whether it be a deer coming forward for a snack of apples or tobacco (they LOVE tobacco!), or a pod of dolphin playfully indulging their curiosity, I feel blessed in the moment of my good luck. Thank you once more for putting up such lovely photos of our brothers and sisters in the wild.
- Carl

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I think it is awesome that you can interact with the deer. I think deer are one of the most beautiful animals in the world. Thank you for sharing this page.
- ALTA

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Just wanted to say that i got some photos as an e-mail attachment, and it totaly made my day. The two of you are special people and truly blessed. Thank you, keep up the faith.
- John

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I love the fact that you have so many deer around your house. I live in Alabama and my family hunts and eats deer. I don't think we are barbaric. I respect your decision to be vegetarian and do agree that farm raised animals for food are definately not a healthy choice for humans to eat. That is one reason I am grateful for the deer my family are able to hunt because we use them for food. My brother has even tanned their hides and made his boys deerskin coats. Not all people who hunt these beautiful animals are barbaric and just hunt them for the trophy. I question the sanity of those who hunt for that reason. Also, I have hit and killed one deer with a car, and felt ten times worse about that than all of the ones my dad and brother have hunted. As far as humans avoiding eating meat 100% I believe is personal choice. Sometimes people say that it is wrong to eat meat, but I take my moral standards from the Bible, and in Genisis right after the flood Noah is first told what animals they could eat of. So even God approved in the use of animals for food, but has always frowned on gluttony. You home place is beautiful and the joy you get from being so close to nature has just got to be wonderful. Sincerly,
- Leah

 

 



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Loved seeing the photos. Do they eat all of your flowers? They are such a beautiful animal. We live in an area where they are plentiful and will retire 30 mls. fr. here where they are super plentiful & wondering if I need to even waste time by planting flowers/gardens? lol. I've heard they clean the garden for you very well?
- NW Arkie, Linda

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How wonderful and lucky that you have received this blessing. I am so jealous. Deer are one of the most beautiful wild animals.
- Sisssie

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You are both very lucky people. Animals have a great instinct....they know you are of no harm. I think that is awesome...Wish I lived at your house!
- BigPink

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Thank you and your family for sharing the wonderful deer photos...hope you can keep the hunters from trespassing and killing them... This summer at our ranch in Colorado we saw herds of deer - we loved those moments. I don't understand why people want to kill something so innocent and beautiful...the hunters must think so too---why else do they brag about the seven pointer, etc. they killed - also the hunters love getting their dead deer heads mounted....and bragging "isn't he a beauty" The argument for killing them is controlling the herd - else they would starve....however, I believe other measures can be taken/explored to control deer population. I am sickened at how the deer are baited by hunters (yes it is illegal)...I saw and heard a lot about this not only in Colorado but other states. Your family of deer brings a smile to my face....thanks for caring.
- Mary

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That is so neat. Thanks for sharing.
- Pat

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Thank you so much for responding. Every bit of information I can get helps a lot. Your "deerletters" is just fantastic. I, too, have tons of deer pictures. If you like, I could send you some. I've never thought about "imitating" them. I go out every day with my bucket of corn and call them. They come quickly, but stay just close enough to watch my every move. When my back is turned to them, the fawns will come up quicker to eat. But the minute I make eye contact, they get nervous. I'll certainly try some of your suggestions. I have a very sad story to relate to you. The other day, while I was feeding them, I noticed a fawn in the background. His tummy was swollen enough to tell something was wrong. He would stumble a bit, so I started slowly toward him. By the time I got to him, he was laying on the ground. My outside cat noticed also and came up to him. Pumpkin (my cat) started meowing quietly and started to lick the fawn, as a mother would. The fawn made a cry and one of the doe snorted very loudly. I leaned down, stroked his little back, and started crying. He started gasping for air and kicking his legs. It was soon over. I cried for a week afterwards. I will remember that until the day I die. During this time of the year, the big bucks come up. The doe are very skittish and allow them to eat the corn. Of course, there are some battles between the bucks, but I witnessed the most awesome sight also. My husband and I had some cedar trees mulched up and they made a very large pile. One time when the big bucks were up, they finished the corn and proceeded over to the mulch pile. One at a time, they would climb to the top of the pile and look around. I thought of the childhood game I use to play, "King of the Mountain". The fawns were so excited about it all, they started running in circles around the pile and played teasingly with the bucks. It was an awesome moment, one I'll cherish. Meantime, I'm determined to earn their respect, knowing it all takes patience. My husband and I are retired and love living in the woods with all the wildlife.......raccoons, fox, feral cats, possums, squirrels, and all kinds of birds. I FEED THEM ALL!!!!! My husband says I spend more on animal food than I do on us! That's okay, because the way I see it, we took away some of their habitat by building here, so the least I can do in return is to feed them. Thank you again for your response and I look forward to future "Deerletters". Please forward them my way. May you continue to do God's work in taking care of his creatures.
- Carol

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What a great experience for you. You are blessed.
- Linda

 

 



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Hello…….Someone sent the e-mail to me of your website with all the pictures of your deer family. That is the sweetest thing I have seen! It is so amazing how they are like part of your family. I live in Toledo, Oh. but was raised in the country in Michigan. My folks had 40 acres so it was not uncommon to see deer roaming around in the fields. Of course living in the city now, I can say I truly miss not seeing the wild-life I was raised with. I just wanted you to know how up-lifting seeing your pictures was to me. It's like they say…….you can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl!!! Thank you again.
- Marcia

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What you have accomplished with the deer is awesome and magnificent! I would love to be a part of the experience and have deer friends! Keep up the wonderful comraderie!
- Lynn

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I really love the pictures of the deer in the yard.
- Rose

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I came across your deer site through an email from a friend. I simply think that that is incredible. In the past I have hunted deer. I think that it's important at the moment in order to maintain a proper population down here in Louisiana. In doing so I have learned a great respect for them. Like you say on your site they do have a tremendous sense of their environment. They also have an incredible sense of smell and hearing. But I would rather be able to share with them the way you do then to hunt them. Maybe they do sense that you won't eat them is why they come to you. Who knows. The fact that God has told them it was ok to do so gives you and your family a blessing that no one has ever really had. Please keep it up and make sure the hunters don't sneak in there. God Bless,
- Tracy

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A friend advised me to check out your website. What a delight it is! And I thought I was the only person to personally name sweet deer in our backyard! Now I can tell my friends and family that there are "others" out there who do the same. Your photos on your website are wonderful. Your deer friends are lucky to have such fine folks to share their habitat. Best wishes from Shirley... and Big Mama, Babyface, Ms. Friendly, Ms. Round-ears, Big Boy, and all of their family members

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I also found your web site very touching. I was very excited to read the part about deer smelling you differently than others. My husband and I have enjoyed a local farm tour that is held yearly in a neighboring community. For the most part, I am appalled at how farm animals are viewed and treated by the farmers (the worst being egg laying hens) I am an animal lover and do not eat any animal whose mother suckles them. My husband does not follow the same eating habits. When we have visited the farms, the animals have always shyed away from my husband, but (most) would allow me to pet them or be close to them. I always marveled at that and wondered if I smelled differently to them than he did. I now do believe that to be the truth. I also respect the rights of someone who hunts, but am personally repulsed at the thought of it. I have never seen an animal die without a fight, his life must be very important to him if he does not give up easily. That is reason enough for me to respect his right to exist. I feed as many creatures as will come and take the food I leave out. All of our leftovers, day old bread etc get tossed out for them. I am amazed at the people who use the Bible as reasons to use animals for their own benefit. I often hear quotes from the Bible that say we are to have dominion over the animals. I wonder if dominion means lack of respect for the animals' life. A leader of a country has dominion over the people, does that mean he is allowed to treat those beneath him any way he chooses? Thank you for giving me a place where I can express my views, I have kindred spirit with you. I feel your thoughts have taught me things and touched a cord within me. I hope to continually grow and learn more.
- Dianne

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Hello, my friend from the USA sent me the link to your beautiful deer. They too have deer walking through their 'yard' but she tells me not as many as you have. Thank you so much for sharing the beautiful pictures and good luck with them all. Blessings,
- Jacq.

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Hi, I just found your website through a recipe site that I get e-mails from everyday. I live in East Texas and have after 8 years of trying to get a few local doe's to eat corn about 75 feet from my window. My problem is that my neighbors are all psychotic killers and shoot at the deer year round! They like to kill everything that comes within their sights, even the local women target practice on the weekends after church! I just noticed today that my next door neighbor has set up a deer feeder next to the fence and I know that it is to shoot my deer friends as they wander through. I am going to try to put more feed and alfalfa out to keep them away from his fence. I would love to live in your area and know that the deer would be safe. My other neighbor on the other side of me is supposed to have a "game preserve" but they shoot all the time over there as well. I really enjoy seeing your pictures and dream someday to be able to do the same with my deer.. Keep those great pictures coming!
- Tina

 

 


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I really don't see where hunters have any right or even a real incentive to be upset with what you are doing. First of all, why should they care what you do, since it doesn't hurt them in any way and might even benefit them if they live somewhere close by where hunting is allowed. What you are doing hurts deer hunters about as much as it would hurt my chances of getting a date with a pretty girl if half the guys in my town decided they were gay. The more people there are like you the fewer hunters there will be, and the more deer there will be left per hunter, for those that remain hunters. How can any hunter really be upset about that. Its not like any part of your web site attacks deer hunters; you seem to be unusually accepting of other people's lifestyles, for someone who cares so much for deer. I don't like people who run out on opening day and try to ruin people's deer hunts, but I can't see that you're like that from your web site. Most hunters I know of realize that their chances of bringing home supper improve as deer populations increase, which doesn't happen because more and more people decide to become hunters. In fact when there are too many hunters they hold lotteries over who gets to hunt each year.

I wish everyone where I like to hunt was a vegetarian because I come home without supper more often than I do with it. But then again I'm not dirt poor and hardly starve if I don't get a deer, and I always get a great camping trip out of it, which is really why I go. I know you wouldn't know, but deer don't taste all that good, compared to cow, so bagging one isn't like winning a months worth of free meals at a fine restaurant, its more like winning a months worth of cheap stew meat. The worst dilemma I can think of would be for me to have a great shot at a nice buck on the first day of a hunting trip. If I take the shot my trip is over because I would have to return home the next day or risk havening some of the meat spoil... There goes the rest of my camping trip. If I skip the shot, I may not see another one for the rest of the trip. I guess you would say I don't really take my hunting as seriously as I would if I was a "Real Hunter". But I sure have a great time. Your web site is great, and you should ignore people who can't stand to see other people like you have a good time.
- Scott

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A friend of mine sent an emailed link to your site. I found the site very inspirational. I am concerned with the narrow-mindedness expressed in some e-mails. A "real hunter" is not after the 10-point trophy buck, but rather, goes hunting to enjoy nature -- just as the gentleman named Scott expressed in his email, that he enjoys the camping experience of the hunt. It is a shame that a few bad apples spoil people's opinion of hunters. Responsible hunters are not the ones bragging about how big a buck they shot, they are not the ones "baiting" the deer, and they are not the ones shooting at anything that moves. My husband hunts, and there have been several years in a row that he has not shot anything because the deer were too small, too big (older, bigger deer have a gamey flavor) or too far away to make a clean shot. He and the boys (we have five) only hunt for what they are actually going to eat and he had instilled that in the boys before they were old enough to even hold a BB gun.

I am not concerned with your extended family walking up to a hunter's rifle. They have adopted you and seem to view you as a part of their herd. They know you mean them no harm. People don't appear to realize that nature doesn't stereotype. We may decide since one person's actions were unacceptable to us that everyone who is a part of that profession, activity, culture, etc. acts in the same manner -- and thus disdain them all. Animals are not like that -- the deer trust you, but won't automatically jump to the conclusion that all humans may be trusted. The same is true with the red squirrels in my yard. The squirrels know I won't let my dogs or my sons (who love to go squirrel hunting) harm them and I personally can get within about 3-5 feet of them. When anyone else tries to walk near them, they run up the nearest tree.

Your web site is such an inspiration. I hope you continue to enjoy your special relationship with the deer.
-Stephanie



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I enjoyed the deer story and pictures. You are indeed Blessed from Above. I will admit my husband and sons all hunt for deer. It is a source of food for us and is a way of keeping the farmlands from being over run. However they are not out for trophies or bragging rights like some hunters and each only takes what he is entitled to have for food.
- Sal

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All these beautiful deer bring to my mind a time in my life, many years ago, living on the Salmon River in Idaho. I was down river visiting friends who had adopted a very young deer whom they thought had probably lost her mom and she hung around their house a lot. The woman said that the baby would nurse, so I should give it a try. I was right in the beginning of my child bearing years, and had a 3 year old whom I was nursing. I was in the kitchen and the baby walked in the door and I knelt down and pulled up my shirt, and sure enough, she latched on and I have to say, it was one of the most incredible things I have done in my life. Just thought you would enjoy that story and envisioning this event!
- Kate

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Thank's to your site I now see those beautiful animal's in a completely different perspective. I will no longer buy another hunting license EVER.
- Dale

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I would love to bring a cup of hot tea and sit quietly in your yard for an hour...
- Huzzi

 


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