Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's Eatin Time

I may have to ask Hanna for a venison recipe. I’ve managed to tolerate the damage done to my garden by the mice, voles, moles, chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits. However, all their destruction is nothing compared to one night’s rampage by a deer. This hosta is almost completely defoliated. My daylily buds were nipped right off.

If I lived in the country, I’d be thrilled about attracting deer because I could shoot them in my front yard and save on groceries. However, I live in the city limits and I can’t just randomly fire a shotgun next to the street. There is also the little problem about deer not presently being in season and the fact that they must be hunted in the daylight.

I can stand the smaller pests, not only because their damage is minor, but because my five cats keep them well in check. Yes, I am a heartless bitch who can watch her cat slowly kill a bunny by licking it to death. The evening the deer came to my buffet happened to be a night that Mr. Tibbs stayed out (I usually managed to round the cats up at nightfall), but he didn’t do a thing to save my plants.

If I can’t shoot the deer, is there any way to train my cats to bring it down themselves? I like to imagine the five of them hunting in a kitty pack. A deer carcass at my front doorstep would be a HELL of an offering. Or, at the very least, can I teach them to stand sentry in the branches of the trees and pounce on the deer’s back, howling, yowling, spitting, and clawing until it runs away in terror? *Sigh* At least the deer don’t come through my yard often. My hosta will probably recover, but I still wouldn’t mind a little venison jerky.


Anonymous Amy said...

Ahhhhhhhhhhh! La la la la la la la la la la la la la la. Sorry about your hosta, but I have two house rabbits. I don't want to hear about cats licking them to death.

(I actually live in Green Township, not Cincinnati. I wonder if I can shoot stuff?)

(My husband's had venison jerky. He likes it.) (I am the queen of parentheses today. Sorry.)

6:18 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

*sympathy* is about all I can offer.

They make those hose scarecrows that might be effective...

7:12 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Ugh. Not making a link...

Let me try this: scarecrow

7:13 AM  
Anonymous Annie said...

I don't know if it's a trainable behavior, considering my two feline friends firmly resisted the "poop in the potty" cat box switch, but i've seen my fluffy white version of Mr. Tibbs totally chasing a deer down the road behind my parents house. Funniest thing i've ever seen. And bring home a bunny. After the other one offed falcon, i thought it best to make them indoor kitties before the fates gave them their due in the form of owl stew.

I saw an article recently about a family of plants deer particularly detest in a gardening magazine, i'll try to remember to look it up and post later. Good luck,

7:32 AM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

Amy - sorry if the rabbit death was disturbing! If it makes you feel better, I decided against posting the gory details of that particular death. I DO like rabbits, just not the wild ones that eat my plants. I read that you can raise bunnies and cats together and that they will be friends.

Jenn - I LOVE that scarecrow! Only problem is that the munched plants are right next to the sidewalk. I'm afraid that people walking by wouldn't take too kindly to being sprayed. ;)

10:12 AM  
Blogger John said...

This will probably do you no good at all, but I'll share anyhow.

My in-laws use to own wolves, and, according to them, if you gather up their hair when they shed and sprinkle it around the gardern, the sent will scare the deer off. Judging by the number of friends & family that hauled it off every spring to their gardens, it must work. As to wear you'd find wolf fur in Cincinnati, I have no idea.

Or, you could use the WWF option and wrestle the buggers to the ground and kill them with your bare hands. Someone actually did that down here when a deer broke into their house. Of course it took them over 45 minutes to subdue it . . .

10:31 AM  
Blogger amanda said...

I'm sorry about your plants. The bunnies are eating mine, and I bought some awful concotion of elk blood and urine called Plantskyyd that has worked quite well for the little critters, but we do not have deer, so I have no advice there. However, I have a schnauzer who has developed a taste for hosta, and despite completely defoliating it several times, it always seems to come back with little ill effects. You probably won't have blooms, but the hosta will be back before you know it.

1:42 PM  
Blogger Annie in Austin said...

My sympathies, Kasmira - at our last house I had to deal with them, too. Some of my neighbors there used Deer away-type sprays, and at least one had good results with the motion sensor water jets.

Are the deer fenced out of the back yard, at least?

10:03 PM  
Blogger Garden Obsession said...

LOL I'm not sure I'd garden at all if I had to battle deer all the time. Between the bad soil and oppressive heat and inconsistent annual sunlight and the dog stomping on everything, I've got all the enemies I can stand. Hope the munched plants come back quickly...

9:24 AM  
Blogger JLynnette said...

Sorry the critters are eating your flowers.

Our stupid dog is tearing up everything in sight hunting a cool place to lay.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

My mom says use dried blood. You can get it at better garden stores, or maybe even Worm's Way, which is over in KY--not that far away!

6:01 PM  

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