Saturday, November 23, 2013

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer and Bambi

Trey Smith


Hunting is not allowed within the boundaries of Ocean Shores and so this approximate 7 miles long peninsula has remained home for a variety of wild critters. While sitings of bears and cougars happen very infrequently, raccoons and coyotes are often seen. But the one wild animal that dominates our area is the black-tailed deer. They are everywhere and I mean that almost literally.

Late last night in a field near our apartment complex, Jaz and I practically walked up the back of one. We came within a few feet of it before we realized it! Today, on a drive down Ocean Shores Blvd., I counted over 50 deer in less than 3 miles. Because they are protected AND some people feed them, most of the deer are not scared of people. This is not to suggest that the majority will eat out of your hand, but you generally can come within a few feet of them before they saunter away.

Of course, this lack of fear of humans can be quite deadly. As long as the deer remain within the confines of the City of Ocean Shores, they are safe. However, the moment they cross those invisible boundary lines, they can be shot (in season). I'm sure the deer do not comprehend this distinction!

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