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Where did all the deer go?” Wildlife management experts were asked. Talk about predators, habitat decimation and not maintaining the health of the herd ensued. Town residents appeared a bit perplexed, as most responded to that question quickly and easily.
“In town!” was the resounding response by more than a few residents. In the past year it seems that the small groups of deer that usually disappear when milder weather moves in have become permanent fixtures. Folks were reporting does and fawns nestling under the car ports, young males investigating the hammocks and porch swings and one particularly stunning group of five bucks grazing daily in local front yards.
“Anyone see those five guys, lately?” generates responses from residents throughout the community, exclaiming over the exceptional beauty of this group. Unlike the lone elk in Estes Park whose rack was adorned with a metal laundry drying apparatus, these guys look as if they’re ready for a photo shoot.
They seem to know that people appreciate watching them meander slowly down the street together. They couldn’t have had their daily journey choreographed any better. The biggest buck led the procession, not spooked by any of the cars going past.
“Have you seen those five big guys hanging around here?” a man in a pick-up called over to me as I was finishing up the evening dog walking duties. Living in Meeker does give one experience in these sort of matters. I knew exactly who he was talking about and told him that I hadn’t seen the group for quite a while.
“Nope, I think they must have moved on.” I told him.
Chatting with the neighbors a day later, I discovered that the five guys had not disappeared at all.
They had passed through on a mid-afternoon jaunt.
“They came by about 15 minutes ago,” my neighbor reported, “You just missed them!”
It was reminiscent of the days in the neighborhood when parents might stop in the street and ask about their active teenagers, “You seen them, lately?” Predicting their teenagers’ whereabouts was often as tricky as this new inquiry.
Watching the antics of this wildlife posse is keeping quite a few members of this community entertained.