I don’t think I would ever describe my nature as being murderous, however, recent events have proved me wrong.
Today I walked out in my back yard/budding fruit tree orchard only to discover that I had several damaged trees. I was devastated and heart broken as I every day look at my trees since they make me happy (It really is the small things). I studied the damage with concern; broken branches, scraped up bark and one tree completely broken, before I resolutely walked back inside. I quickly made my self a sign fully intending to post it at the side of the road. It read “HUNTERS WELCOME”.
I think we all have some both good and bad character traits. What it comes down to is a matter of choice; we can give into whatever bad stuff we are feeling (it’s tempting, it’s that immediate gratification) or we can chose to cultivate the things that make us good people (which is a lot harder but with definite longer lasting rewards). Professor Dumbledore told Harry Potter; “It’s your choices Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” Often doubting my own abilities, I love this quote since there is never a shortage of choices!!
Our farm goals also came into play; am I farming in harmony with nature if at first trouble I feel like shooting the poor deer who vandalized my trees? The deer undoubtedly thought he was the lucky one to have just discovered the newest restaurant in town. Since I’m raising pigs for meat I obviously don’t have anything against eating meat, but I wanted this particular deer shot in pure revenge even if I told myself it was to prevent any further tree damage. Admittedly not my finest moment. I came to the conclusion that the only place where this sign should get posted was on this blog!
Some quick googling and texting to my hubby provided me a few more humane methods to deter deer. Scott suggested that I should stop by my hairdresser and ask for a bag of hair, he swears that deer don’t get close to it. Personally I’m wondering if that’s just an excuse hunters use when they don’t catch anything…. 🙂 My awesome hairdresser gave me whole bag of hair and I have now draped every tree with a generous amount of long black and brown hair.
Online I found a fellow apple tree grower who swears by his method and that a neighboring apple tree orchard had done this for the past 50 years and NEVER had deer bothering their trees; They hang up suet holders between every 4 trees and add half a bar of Irish Spring soap in each of them. Scott who was equally sad about the trees stopped at Tractor Supply on his way home and bought not only the suet holders but also a big roll of deer net. He put it up immediately since he was leaving for Europe the following day. Kudos for working until the wee hours of the night!
The suet holders are now hanging around my trees, and to be on the sure side I added the whole bar of soap to each. Every time there is a gust of wind, it now carries with it the smell of Irish Spring! I think it smells good, but hopefully the deer don’t.
Only 3 weeks after planting our trees we have one that is completely gone and 3 that are damaged.. if this pace keeps up we’ll have zero trees left come spring so I sincerely hope the deer keep away.
The deer did leave something else behind.. a deer tick I found crawling on my hand (oh ICK). I must have picked it up while wrapping the trees (I figured it couldn’t hurt wrapping the trunks in vet wrap – the stuff that clings to itself- to aid in the healing of the bark). And on that note I’m heading to the shower since I now have the creepy-crawly’s big time.