Mystery Deer

December 9, 2019

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST?

Been away for the weekend at my in-laws in Rockport, MA near Gloucester. Rockport & Gloucester sit on an island called Cape Anne or the North Shore. Every time I’m there I occupy most of my time walking about 4 miles from Rockport to Gloucester through the woods. This time around, there was some fresh snow to show any recent animal tracks. From the 7 years I’ve been walking there, I’ve only seen 1 deer. I’ve seen evidence of their browsing, but deer impacts remain low on this island; People still have open gardens without fences and newly planted hedges all below the browsing height of deer. What I’ve learned is just how secretive deer are when their numbers are low and food still plentiful. I’ve seen buck rubs, but no deer. I drive around at night, and not one deer’s eyes shine back. I wonder how long it will last until their numbers shoot up and become a problem? We’ll see. And yes, I did see tracks in the snow.

 

Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association