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Dori: Mooching deer in my yard are like homeless people in Seattle

Bambi tried to get some free handouts from Dori's yard. (Dori Monson, KIRO Radio)

At about 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, while prepping for my radio show, I noticed some beautiful deer outside, in my yard. They walked over to my neighbor’s yard and began eating some leaves off the tree.

A few minutes later, a big daddy deer came walking across the yard with his big antlers. It, too, started eating the leaves off the tree. It was just beautiful.

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About an hour later, Mama and Daddy were still in my yard. Here’s where the problem begins. At my daughter’s wedding, we had a beautiful plant wall. We brought most of the plants home and have planted them throughout our yard, as a way to remember the happiest day of my life. Now these two deer are eating the plants we just put in the ground. One of the deer yanked one of the plants out of the ground entirely.

Now I’ve had enough. I walk out on my deck, figuring they’ll be scared off if they hear my voice. I talk to them like I would to a human being: “Alright guys, that’s enough. Come on guys — no more.” They don’t do anything — they don’t move. They think that they can just hang out in my yard because there’s free food there.

So finally, I have to resort to calling my dog Buddy out to the deck. He goes tearing after the deer, and the deer bound across the backyard. Don’t worry — Buddy knows where the invisible line is in the yard, and he doesn’t go past it. The deer get away.

But this way, the freeloaders learned that they overstayed their welcome in a place that just gave them free stuff for far too long. They were freeloading in my yard and when I told them it was time to go, they acted like they owned the place. Finally, I had to make the decision to move them along.

And do you know what I said to those deer? “Not in my backyard.”

Sometimes there are practical application to our real-life encounters with wildlife. Sometimes you have to draw the line on how much of your stuff you’re going to let them take. Because you’re not going to let them stay in a place you don’t want them to stay.


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