I have lately despaired of the "wildlife" roaming freely through our neighborhood.
We used to think that it was so nice to have deer browsing in the front yard, squirrels frolicking in the flower beds and the occasional fox running across the street in the middle of the night. It makes you feel like you really aren't city dwelling.
However, it has become obvious that the wildlife here isn't wild, has no respect for the rest of the neighborhood, and is too stupid to reason with. It's just a free lunch all the time.
The squirrels have been discouraged from climbing up to the bird feeders and they just stay on the ground and wait for the birds to knock the seed to the ground.
The fox is very little trouble and he keeps the racoons away, so he is welcome.
The deer, however, are another matter entirely.
They are out of control. They roam the neighborhood, they feed on plants, shrubs, and birdseed, and they get hit on the road regularly.
I called the DNR to see what could be done. I have heard all kinds of stories about birthcontrol darts, traps, herd relocation, etc.
The guy that I talked to said that in the cities we are really out of luck. None of those things are viable solutions and the things that do work, like hiring a sharpshooter, are very expensive and have to be approved and funded by the city. He also said that there is going to be the contingent of animal lovers that will protest the killing of anything bigger than a fly, even when you can show them that a bullet is a whole lot more humane than being hit on the road and dying a slow death. I am also worried that one of these days someone is going to get killed be one of these brutes coming through the windshield.
The other day I saw something in the news that I thought might just solve my problem.
I don't need a real dog around here right now. I don't believe in leaving a dog in the yard full time, and having one inside doesn't help the situation.
But THIS, this may just be what we need to hunt down those silly beasties.
We just have to program it to recognize deer, and not children, dogs and meter readers, and come up with a name....