The white tailed deer frequent our backyard. They have designated my garden as an “all you can eat salad bar.” It’s hard to believe that, in the 1920’s, this species was practically nonexistent in Arkansas.
In fact, when I was growing up in the 70’s and 80’s, a buck sighting was a rarity. However, due to the conservation efforts by the state of Arkansas, which began as early as 1916, the population has grown from five hundred to nearly one million. These efforts included a designated deer hunting season, a bag limit, a “buck only” season, and, most importantly, the passage of Amendment 35, which gave the Arkansas Game and Fish commission autonomy from the state legislature and enabled wildlife regulations to be enforceable on a statewide basis.
My hat is off to everyone who play a role in one of the most successful conservation initiatives in history. Whether it’s the hunter, the game warden, or the lawmaker, in my opinion, they all deserve a pat on the back!
For without their efforts, we would have had none of those interesting “deer moments”. Moments like when the momma deer decided to chase our greyhound, Scout, away from her babies, or the time the deer family decided to use my flower bed as their bed; the precious fawns peeking their heads around my blooming crepe myrtle. There was also another instance when my dog Ruby, and a buck came to an understanding; I like to think of it as friendship.
I know that many folks now find them annoying, and actually a danger. Both Kurt and I have hit deer that were dashing across the road. That fact aside, the deer in my backyard has been one of nature’s gifts to me. These swift, graceful, and yes, probably stupid creatures are welcome to visit me anytime!