Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This is why I can't escape the agri-industrial matrix...

You see, that's one of my little peach trees that fat beotch is munching on. I originally planted five of them (along with a bunch of apple, pear and plum trees) with visions of someday harvesting a bounty of free, organic fruity goodness. My natural larder, safe from the vagaries of our food-distribution system and our unsustainable and out-of-balance corporate agri-business complex.

Silly hippie.

One tree got shredded almost immediately by a rubbing buck, one tree took a look at the soil in which it was being planted and decided it was better to just get it over with and die immediately, and the remaining three have become sort of a never-ending buffet for the neighborhood deer. I water and fertilize. They tear and masticate.

I could shoot her, of course. Bow season starts Thursday and the idea of arrowing a fat doe while sitting comfortably at my kitchen table drinking the morning coffee does have a certain lazy appeal to it, especially in light of the fact that I've been feeding this ho and the rest of her herd all spring and summer.

I could put a fence around all the trees, but that involves the kind of work and expense I generally try to avoid.

So I just bitch, occasionally shoot them in the ass with my son's Red Ryder and continue buying my peaches at the grocery store.

Because, truth be told, I enjoy having them around. Especially during hunting season. Not for the prospect of easy venison (I still haven't decided whether it's merely ironic or stupid to have a herd of deer watching you load up your gear to go drive somewhere else to hunt...deer) but for the window it gives me into deer behavior and activity.

I hate to admit this because I've been hunting deer a long time, and I'm pretty good at it, but in the past two years I've probably learned more about deer behavior, deer vocalizations, deer body language and the overall rhythm of their existence by sitting on my back porch drinking beer than I ever have in the woods.

It's kind of my own personal rut and wildlife activity calendar. Last fall I had bucks chasing does literally across my back porch, bucks locking horns in the yard, bucks making scrapes under the bird feeders and bucks using my fruit trees as their sparring partners.

And I had this guy hanging out pretty much all the way through bow, muzzleloader and gun season as his competitors showed up one by one at the local check station. During gun season he actually watched me skin out a buck as he patiently waited for his bucket of corn. I think he ended up fathering half the fawns in the neighborhood last year. Smart fellow, that one.

It was great fun watching it all and learning something new from it, and I guess in the end that trumps fresh peaches.

But next year I'm planting okra. Behind a fence.


  1. I can't say for sure that I wouldn't feel the same way you do if I were in your shoes. But sadly, I'm not allowed to hunt the wild game I can see from my back window (mostly doves, but don't think for a second I wouldn't like to eat the pigeons too).

  2. Chad,

    Buy yourself a bale of good hay. Put out a sheaf or two of it midway between the trees. Replenish as needed. That may stop the predation on your pears.

    The other option is peeing in a spray bottle and using that on your pear tree. Remember wind at your back when spraying, wind at your back.

    Best regards,
    Why I Carry a Gun
    Real Men Hunt

  3. I'd probably have to fence the peaches. Too good to share.

    Nice to have the regular evening/morning show and the wildlife around, though.

  4. way to sell 'em Chad. See you if not soon then soonish

  5. Thanks for the comments, guys (guys of course being a gender-neutral term, Holly...)

    Actually, I do think I'll be forced to get off my lazy ass and fence them before long.

  6. I have had some luck protecting new apple and hackberry trees by throwing anti-bird netting over them.

    It does get tangled up with the twig tips some and the wind blows it, but the deer don't seem to like dealing with it.

  7. They look very fat,plenty of meat... watching their behavior while having a beer ...sounds great

    try hanging tinsel in nearby bushes...i dont know if it works but it might hahaha..