This year, a new minor character joined the cast of this blog, a handsome young fellow with a mysterious past. I'm talking about Deer 58, a young stag wearing a radio collar and a pair of ear tags bearing the number which serves as his name. He's relatively tame, and settled into his role on my worksite with aplomb. He was later joined by Dear 57, another stag which is much more skittish, not nearly as amenable to being photographed.
Yesterday, my coworker learned about the mysterious past of Deer 58 (and Deer 57). While he was working the afternoon shift, he spotted two young men in our overflow parking area, standing next to a car bearing a sign for White Buffalo Inc, a wildlife management company. Two young men, perhaps not so different from 57 and 58, were standing next to the vehicle, searching for something. That something, my coworker was told, was the radio collar used to track 57 and 58, and thirty other deer in the region. The radio collars have small charges installed, which blow the collars off when a particular study has finished. Deer 57 and 58 were now free of their collars, though they still bore the ear tags, which sometimes fall off and sometimes don't.
The White Buffalo employees were looking for one of the collars, they get paid a bonus for every collar they retrieve. My coworker joked about getting a cut if he found the collar before they did... In the course of their conversation, my coworker learned that 57 and our friend 58 tended to move from our site to a nearby park- they favor the park in the winter because of the many oak trees on the premises, which provide a bounty of tasty acorns which help tide the deer over in the lean season. They move to our site in more clement weather in order to take advantage of our varied ecological niches- meadow, forest, and marsh.
White Buffalo is also conducting a similar deer survey on Long Island, and will compare and contrast the data from the two locales. Here's where I note that our sizable campus is near a broad swathe of green space, and the deer even wander into downtown areas such as the pretty village of Tarrytown (it's a good town).
It's my sincere hope that Deer 58 won't be subject to a cull, or the like. He makes for a charming presence on the property, and I kinda look at him as a coworker. If he's calm and contentedly hanging out on site, it probably means that no unauthorized persons are skulking about. As far as I'm concerned, he's on the payroll, albeit on a more informal basis than myself or Ginger. I'd like to see him having the run of the place, a free deer.
I'm working a job a bit less rural than where I live, but I just saw the biggest buck I've ever seen step into the road about 40 yards away. Lots of turkeys too, but there's a flock of turkeys that live in the tees just behind my bus,they aren't fond of my mowing, but 3 years in, I'm getting closer
I thought it was a loose horse at first. But it stepped out of the trees walked 30 feet up to j e street and disappeared into the brush.
We have a lot of deer and turkeys at a couple of our sites. It's a privilege to work in such environs.
Thanks for the update on deer 58! I'm glad he is doing well!
The funny thing is that we can now distinguish him from all other deer. Typically, they all blend together, with some exceptions, like Big Boy, a somewhat shy older buck with a magnificent set of antlers, who frequented the place last year.
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