As I told you earlier this week, seeing a deer when I was a kid made you feel as if you had caught a glimpse of an exotic animal. These days deer seem to be everywhere. I saw 4 on my way to work yesterday; 2 on my way to work today; and 1 on my way home tonight.
While seeing a deer when I was young was rare-seeing a bear was almost unheard of. You might hear about bear hunters getting one around Nantahala but you didn’t hear about bears being seen near people’s houses like you do now.
One day when the girls were in first grade, I was home alone with a little boy I used to keep. I heard our little beagle Wilma start barking up a storm.
Just to make my little friend laugh I started saying silly things like “Wilma you better hush up-what are you barking at girl?” Turns out Wilma had good reason to bark.
When I looked out the window-Wilma who weighed less than 20lbs-was after a big black bear. I ran out in the yard to try and get her to come back-but noticed right away the bear wasn’t paying her one bit of attention. Wilma was of no more concern to the bear than a fly would have been. As soon as the bear cleared the yard, Wilma came back to the porch looking at me like she’d saved the day.
Coyotes were another animal that you never seen or heard about when I was growing up. Now they’ve taken up residence in this country. Coyotes were the demise of our Wilma.
Sometimes at night they howl on the ridge across from us. It’ll make those little hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
After they started preying on cattle in this area-one farmer hired people to kill the coyotes. The same farmer added a donkey to some of his fields. Everyone said they were to protect the calves from coyotes-but since the donkeys didn’t stick around long I’m not sure if it worked or not.
All the pictures in this post came from The Deer Hunter’s trailcam. Several years ago he set it up about 350 yards above our house. We loved seeing what showed up on it when he developed the film.
Mostly there were pictures of deer, squirrels, and turkey. Being so close to the house, we were surprised by the bear, coyote, and bobcat.
This is the only shot he got of a bobcat. I bet that one click of the camera ensured the cat never came back that way again.
There was usually some funny ones on the trailcam too-like this one-what were those two doing up there? And there was the occasional neighborhood dog prancing through like he had been sent on a special mission.
The dramatic increase of wildlife during my lifetime is remarkable. I suppose it’s due to the decrease in hunting and the increase in people population pushing animals into areas they normally stayed away from.