Friday, February 18, 2011

Farmers Feed the Starving Deer

Standing on the railroad track in a small Dakota town seems like a good idea to these whitetail deer. There is often spilled grain nearby. 
The same reason draws deer to every bin site in the area, even the ones at local elevators in our towns. 
February has always been the time when the deer go hungry on the plains. It is especially true this year, because of our deep snow cover. 
While the upper branches on trees have buds showing, 
The lower branches have been stripped of their potential growth. 
 And the young trees poking through the snow nearby stand little chance of surviving through to Spring. It is devastating for the gardeners.
Serious gardeners often install fences that deer can't jump over to protect their plantings.
Tracks tell the story, the deer have been here recently and often. 
There are herds of deer in rural areas where food is still available like this bean field.
But the depth of the snowdrifts is protecting some usual food sources from the deer. 
Starving deer will eat any vegetation or gleanings that they can find, deer resistant or not. 
 Hunger emboldens the shy graceful creatures.
The snow is so deep in rural areas that many deer are moving to town.
Farmers are trying to help keep the deer away from people by putting out food on the edge town.  
 It helps, but the hungry deer have formed large herds and are desperately searching for food. The normally shy creatures wander into yards in great numbers. They eat whatever they can find and leave the yard littered with waste.
They realize, food will become even more scarce before the season of plenty arrives. They hear the coyotes howling and are keenly aware of the food chain in GriggsDakota.


  1. Some great photos here, Griggs - I really like the second photo of the Sun obscured by clouds there! I'm thinking of a great nodaiku to go with it. Mind if I put together one on The Blank Rectangle and dedicate it to you?

  2. I am honored that a GriggsDakota photo inspired you. I look forward to your nodaiku and thank you for reading our blog.