The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Deerslayer Wannabe

Shooting out the cat door.When three of the deer deterrents faltered during our honeymoon, the deer got bold.  They danced in our mule garden, kicking up their heels amid the summer squash and ripping every last vestige of swiss chard out of the ground. 

The really bad part, though, is that at least two individual deer learned that the deterrents weren't scary.  Since then, we've seen them in or near the yard several times even though the deterrents are running.  It's clearly time to thin the herd.

On a rainy Halloween morning, I turned off the deterrents and settled in with a cat on the sofa to wait for deer.  Luckily, I'm the exact opposite of a macho man --- I see nothing unsportsmanlike about stalking the deer through the kitchen window as long as the end result is venison in my freezer.

At 2 pm, I looked up from my forest gardening book...and into the eyes of a doe ten feet from the kitchen window.  I shoved the cartridge thingummy into the base of our semi-automatic rifle, loaded a shell in the chamber, and flicked off the safety.

The doe watched me but didn't retreat as I walked toward her across the linoleum floor.  My plan was to slide up the window pane and shoot directly out the cat door which just happened to be in a perfect spot.  Unfortunately, the sound of the window set my doe running, so our bellies will be deer-free tonight.  Stay tuned for further adventures of the kitchen marksman!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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