Oh, Deer!

Last week I mentioned that mice were infiltrating our house; but we’re also keeping a hostile eye on the deer that are zeroing in on our garden.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I like deer… in venison pepperoni, with a side of fries…

I’m kidding.  (Okay, not really; venison pepperoni is delicious.  But unless I was really hungry I wouldn’t bother killing a deer just for pepperoni.)

Anyhow, when we bought our beautiful little corner of the wilderness we intended to put an 8’ deer fence around our garden.  That was supposed to have happened a couple of months before the garden was planted, but despite our persistent efforts we still don’t have a fence.  The contractor might finally get it started next week.  Welcome to Island Time.

Fortunately there aren’t many deer around our place, but every now and then one wanders in… like the one I caught grazing on the grass (fortunately not on my peas or beans) this weekend.

I opened the front door and yelled, “HEY DEER, GET LOST!”

The deer stared, and a thought bubble appeared above its head:  “What the…?”

“I SAID GET LOST!”  I strode purposefully toward the garden, expecting the deer to run as soon as it saw me leave the house.  After all, its counterparts in Alberta flee at the barest glimpse of a human. But apparently Island deer are braver.  Or dumber, or both.

It stood gawping at me as if it couldn’t quite believe I had the nerve to interrupt its dinner.  And it didn’t run.

Finally when I was only about 20 yards away it deigned to trot a few paces to the west.  Not away from me, mind you, but laterally; giving ground but refusing to stoop to an undignified retreat.

But the deer was the only one burdened with dignity.  I broke into a gallop over the uneven ground, waving my arms and bellowing, “RUN YA LITTLE BASTARD!  RUN!  HRAAAGH!!!”

After a single incredulous glance the deer took to its heels, but it still didn’t run flat-out.  When I started gaining on it, it finally put on a proper burst of speed and vanished over the berm that surrounds our property, undoubtedly to meet its friends in the forest and describe the wack-job that had just chased it.

And wack-job I was; because I had been in the middle of a construction project.  I was wearing safety goggles; my earmuff hearing protectors had gotten tangled up in my hair so they flopped and bounced (painfully, I might add) off the side of my head; and it was hot so I’d tucked my T-shirt up inside my bra, exposing my pasty white belly.

Seeing that apparition advancing, it’s no wonder the poor damn deer didn’t know what to do.  It was probably laughing too hard to be capable of running.  But my garden is still intact.  So far.

I sure hope we get our deer fence installed this week – the snickering from the forest is starting to get to me.

Know of any good deer deterrents (that aren’t rated by calibre)?

* * *

P.S. Woohoo!  I have a draft cover for Book 12, and preorders should be available shortly.  Stay tuned!  But… I can’t decide on a title.  What do you think?

Here’s the draft of the cover blurb:

Reluctant secret agent Aydan Kelly is posing as an arms dealer when her gangland buyer is implicated in a deadly plot to attack Remembrance Day services. 

Partnered with an agent she can’t trust, Aydan races against time to stop the terrorists; but her partner’s volatile temper might blow the whole op… if it doesn’t kill her first.  And when she discovers her lover is embroiled in the case, Aydan must decide:  Will she sacrifice him to save hundreds of innocent lives?

Have your say:

53 thoughts on “Oh, Deer!

  1. Oh the deer is still sitting around with his buddies talking about the new resident on the island. I laughed uncontrollably at your description.
    Not at you but with you of course. You were laughing right? 🙂


  2. I can’t wait to get my paws 🐾 on the new book, hurry up beata readers. But I also want to know when I can get them on the book in paperback?????

    I know deers are a tad of a pest, but they are pretty to look at, maybe you should announce to the forest that as well as venison pepperami that a deerskin rug would look quite nice by the fire, or in the garden by the back door.
    A smidge mean but it might work.


    • An excellent point! Waste not, want not. Pepperoni and a deerskin rug. And maybe some deerskin moccasins.

      As usual, the paperback version of Book 12 will be a little later than the ebooks – sorry about that! I’ll get the paperbacks going as soon as I can.


  3. Non-lethal deer deterrent? Only one thing will do. A reinforced concrete wall with a six-foot foundation, twelve feet high, and topped with razor wire. Not for the deer, of course, but for their fellow denizens of the forest. Like grizzly bears, brown bears, black bears, badgers, wolves, and pelicans.

    Well, maybe not pelicans. It’ll take more razor wire for those critters.

    I voted for one of the above, but all are very clever. Pick one, and run with it. But run *fast* if you please. 🙂


    • I’m running, I promise; but it’s in the hands of the beta readers now. However, you’ll be pleased to know that I met the challenge posed by @SueSlaght: I included a short-beaked echidna with a four-headed penis. Yay, me! 😀 I wonder what the challenge for Book 13 will be…?

      I have to agree with you about the fence – I don’t know if we’ll be able to keep them out with mere 8′ pagewire. The fencing contractor arrives tomorrow so I guess we’ll soon find out!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Years ago, some dear friends swapped houses with her parents. Parents lived in a beautiful cottage on a lovely lake, but the place was pretty far from town and medical help, and the parents were getting on, as it were. Our friends went nuts for all the deer at their new place. Bought feed and had dozens eating out of their hands. Then spring came… and $800 for flowers, new saplings, and other greenery.


        Next morning, all that was left was NOTHING!!

        The next weekend project was a8


        • Sorry, it auto-posted. An 8-foot fence with a strand of barbed wire along the top.

          Oh, and no more hand-feeding Bambi. We noted the change of attitude, of course, and mentioned it. Their neighbors, they said, could be heard guffawing far into the night.


          • Yep, I had the slingshot out last night. But these deer are far too calm and complacent – they don’t take off running like Alberta deer; they just shy and run a few steps, then settle down to grazing again. We’re hoping they’ll also be too fat and lazy to jump a fence. 😉

            Liked by 1 person

            • Someone mentioned peeing around the perimeter to mark your territory. Find a zoo and make a deal to get, say, five gallons of lion pee. Sprinkle a gallon around your garden and see what happens. That’ll scare the critters so bad, it’ll probably keep mosquitoes away.


                • …and now I’m imagining myself driving home from the zoo with a giant bucket of lion pee sloshing along in the passenger seat.

                  One of my friends is a wedding-cake baker, and she was once in a rollover accident while she was transporting a cake to a wedding. She broke a couple of bones and was in a lot of pain hanging upside-down from her seatbelt when the first responders arrived; but she had to laugh when the paramedic surveyed her and the interior of the car, both liberally coated with smushed cake and icing, and quipped, “What, you couldn’t wait until you stopped to taste it?”

                  I’m not sure I want to know what the quip might be if it was 5 gallons of lion pee instead of cake…

                  Liked by 1 person

  4. This may be totally obvious (but I’m Australian), but what’s wrong with deer in your yard? Are they pests over there? Here they’d be welcomed as whimsical delightful additions to make the neighbours jealous. It’s the damn kangaroos you gotta watch out for…


  5. This city girl is of no help with the deer population problems, but I enjoyed everyone else’s input.

    The first deer I ever saw outside of a pitiful deer cage designed to pull the curious closer to a souvenir store, was a time decades ago when I went on a hike to my “holy place.” There was nothing particularly special about the place except that if you were there early enough in the morning a small clearing in the forest was backlit and the dew was still in the grass. I painted it a few times. Once just before getting to the area I came around a turn and a deer was just a few steps from the path. I stopped upon seeing the deer and was amazed that she just looked back at me and didn’t run. I took a step closer, and instead of running away, she stepped closer to me. I again stepped closer and so did she. We were only 10 feet or so apart. I stayed there until she turned and slowly went away. I thought it was very unusual for the deer to be so curious and lacking in fear. It added still more of that “something special” about that area.

    I can’t wait to read this next book. I like the titles in the order they’re posted, with …And Then You Spy coming in last. The first two I like equally well. I’m imagining that Greg Holt (I hope I remembered his name correctly) will be partnering with her. Hmm, tricky interpersonal relationship issues certainly are guaranteed. No mention of weapons from the lab in your blurb. I suppose that means very little.

    Congrats on such a quick cover. When did you find the time? I do notice that there is no binary code this time- or is that still to be added?


    • You have sharp eyes as always, el Tea! It’s still to be added – this isn’t actually the final cover. I haven’t been able to schedule anything with my photographer in Calgary so I’m searching for one here. Meanwhile, I got Hubby to snap some photos (which I Photoshopped half to death) just so I could have a cover to use when I set up the preorders. I was in a hurry late last night, and I forgot to put in the binary. Thank you for mentioning it! 🙂

      Your deer encounter sounds amazing! I’d enjoy getting close to our visiting deer, too, if not for the fact that they’re eyeing my garden hungrily. I just went out a couple of hours ago and discovered that they’ve stripped every leaf off my new little cherry trees – they may not survive. And the deer fence contractor starts work tomorrow. Fate is cruel sometimes…


      • Poor little cherry trees. I hope they make it. When I had my up close and personal moments with the deer, it was well before anyone mentioned deer ticks and wasting brain disease etc. My second cousin just got horribly ill from a rare illness contracted from his outdoor work that exposed him to a lot of tick bites. It behaves similarly to meningitis or lymes disease but is neither. I’m keeping my distance from wildlife these days. Ugh! One tick is all it takes and I’ll feel crawling bugs on me for weeks when nothing is there.


        • Brrr! I’m scratching my head and twitching just thinking about it. Here in BC we have ticks that carry Lyme and other nasties, and that’s always on my mind when I’m walking through the forest. That and bears… but to be honest, the ticks creep me out much worse than the bears.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. While you are puttilg fencing for deer, don’t forget to keep the bunnies out. They can be just as destructive as deer and can fit through smaller spaces.

    Bunnies breed like….bunnies. Then you have fuzzy bunnies of many sizes. These fuzzy bunnies do not need arms. Their teeth work just fine to decimate peas and leave beans as single naked stalks, never to produce a bean for human consumption. I won’t go into what happens to carrots, lettuce and other bounty from the garden.


    • Fuzzy bunnies, oh no! 😉 That’s an excellent point. I was thinking of putting in chickenwire low enough that I can step easily over it but too high for bunnies. So far we’ve been lucky (fingers crossed). We have a golden eagle who cruises the updrafts over our garden every morning, and I think s/he keeps them under control. The sight of that big shadow flitting across the ground is enough to make me duck, too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Start with the chicken wire. If they get through, add another layer so the holes don’t line up.

        On the book titles: Which feels best to you? Which fits best with the story line? You may have an a-ha moment and come up with a completely different title.

        As for my being on a team: Which one do you want to lose?

        Liked by 1 person

        • LOL! Sounds like me and grocery check-out lines. If you want to get in the slowest one, just ask me to choose.

          And I actually had chosen a title for Book 12 that gave me an ‘aha’ moment… and then one of my beta readers gave me a resounding “HUH?!?” when I announced it. I came up with a few other titles but they didn’t resonate the same way with me, so I figured I’d let my readers weigh in. The one I’d originally chosen is in the poll, so I’m looking forward to the final results!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Maybe you should sit in your garden and eat some venison pepperoni and yell at the forest, “Next deer I see gets turned into this!” Likely wouldn’t work but if the forest is going to laugh at you, give it something good to laugh about.


  8. Deer deterrent … lessee now, whenever I take out my camera they run away, so maybe that would work 🙂 Have you tried pointing your finger at them and yelling “pow”? Okay, yes, I know I’m no help.

    Congratulations on getting to the title-choosing stage! They are all good. And I am reminded that I still haven’t gone over and done a review of your free book. I really did enjoy it, so it’s just that I keep forgetting. I’ll write it down! I can’t do anything without a list …


    • Thanks, Jenny_o – I’m glad you enjoyed Never Say Spy, and I always appreciate reviews! I’m thinking your camera technique would probably work wonderfully – animals always run away when I take my camera out, too. 😉


      • The ‘pow’ comment reminded me. Some farmers I used to know had propane-powered ‘cannons’ that would produce very loud blasts (sounded just like a 12-gauge) at random intervals. Worked well to keep critters out of garden patches and young orchards that were too far from the house to protect otherwise.

        Or wire them to motion detectors placed appropriately around the premises. Wouldn’t have to be just around the garden, either. Place several along your driveway or front sidewalk. Troublesome and annoying uninvited guests (the door-to-door variety comes to mind) would practically vanish into thin air. Prolly get tired of cleaning their, er, residue off the sidewalk, though. Then again, good organic compost is where one finds it. And if you wired recording video cameras into the circuit, that would be even more entertaining. Well, for you and Hubby, anyway. Set the cannons to go off, say, five seconds after the cameras start. Wouldn’t want to miss any of the, er, action..

        There are many different kinds of vermin, after all. Just sayin’…

        Liked by 1 person

        • This idea sounds a lot like what Aydan has on her farm, but with less pyrotechnics. I don’t have any idea how close Diane’s neighbors are to her compound-er, home, but even if the closest neighbor is a half mile away, they’d certainly enjoy being disturbed all hours by blasts at random hours day and night, not. Way to become the people the district will do anything to rid themselves of. They’d re-write law to get you to stop the noise war on critters.

          Liked by 2 people

  9. Is 8 feet tall enough? If the deer aren’t impressed with your wardrobe choice I’m not sure they’ll be put off by a measly fence. I would bet these deer are beyond pee and hair, as well.
    I’m also a couple of your books behind so I’ll have to do a binge read real soon and I am looking forward to that.


  10. A good way to keep deer away is to pee around the area. That’s what we do when we raft the Rogue River in Oregon. Keeps deer away and it makes the guys feel all manly.
    Voting on a title was hard because I really like all of them. Good luck deciding!


  11. I thought it was hilarious that the titles were evenly split, til I realized it was only 6 votes so far, LOL!!
    For your deer deterrent, how does hubby feel about peeing in a milk jug? you can pour that on on the garden perimeter. You can also run to the nearest town and see if the salon will give you their hair clippings and spread those around the garden, since those smell like people that helps too. If you have plants that get eaten only when they are small and tender but are fine once they get bigger, put chopsticks in the ground around them. The deer bend down to eat and get poked in the snout. Stops em cold. You can get dried coyote or fox urine in bags and hang that around the garden, when it’s dried it doesn’t smell, and that might help too.


    • Brilliant! I’d heard of the “pee around your garden” technique but we’ve never tried it, and the chopstick idea is diabolical in its simplicity. So far the deer have been eating the grass and leaving the garden alone; maybe because I mulched everything with mouldy hay and they don’t like the smell of it. And our fencing contractor just called and said they’ll be starting tomorrow, hooray! Maybe there’s hope…

      It’ll be fun to see how the titles shake out! 🙂


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