When the Deer Move Into my Alberta Yard

We spent part of our winter in the sunny south. We returned to our Alberta home yesterday and were met with the carnage that happens when white-tailed deer move into a yard. Alberta

I beg your pardon, But I am eating up your garden.
– The White-tailed Deer –

Trampled flower beds, uprooted bulbs, deer scat

They had eaten all the tulip and grape hyacinth shoots, the top two feet of the raspberry canes, most of a honeysuckle bush and a cedar shrub. There may have been other plants that were up, but they became deer fodder too. The deer dug up and ate many of the bulbs and shortened the willow hedge by a foot or so. Their sharp little hooves chopped, diced and trampled most of the flower beds.

The sole survivors were the Daffodils. This specimen was nibbled on just once, then the deer left it alone. This is the first time in twenty three years that the deer have caused this much damage. Mostly they stay on their side of the fence. Sometimes a few juveniles will enter the yard in the summer and mow down a row of young beans, carrots or lettuce. I then embark on an attitude adjustment program, and they eventually decide that there are friendlier, quieter places to have lunch.

Hard winters, like this one was, caused them to ignore the danger that lurks inside my fence. My absence reinforced the wisdom of their decision. All that will change now. It is spring training time. The deer’s big bambi eyes will soon register looks of surprise, then amusement and finally concern as I assert control over my back yard again. They will have to go back to foraging on the hundreds of acres of woods and farmland on THEIR side of the fence.

It’s one thing if your hobby is to put ships inside a bottle, but a deer in the headlights!… That’s a real talent.
― Josh Stern, And That’s Why I’m Single –

How is your garden doing this spring? What ‘pests’ do you have to contend with?