Better covers=less problem

By Steve Estes

Strictly Drivel

I don’t truthfully know what the reason may be, but we haven’t had nearly as many visiting deer in our yard in the last few weeks at sunrise and sunset as we have had most of the time we’ve lived there.

I kind of miss the little critters. I’ve pulled into my parking space under the house a couple of times in the last two weeks after dark and haven’t seen a single set of eyes staring back at me in the headlights. If it weren’t for the puppies, I’d feel lonely trekking up the stairs.

Most of the time when I get home after dark, which happens a lot in this business, there are a half dozen or so deer grazing in front of the fence. In the last two weeks, none, zero, zilch, nada. I’m beginning to wonder if this is some kind of boycott thing from the local deer population.

Now I know it made a difference after we convinced our seven-year-old grandson to stop going outside on the porch and pitching his leftover food onto the ground for the “big doggies” to eat. Don’t care how many times we told him that the big doggies didn’t need his food, he insisted on sticking it through the fence and dropping it to the ground. But now he’s discovered that the leftover food looks really cool in a trash bag. Of course, he wants his own bag most of the time, but it saves outdoor feeding and gets him to participate in trash day.

If I were a paranoid man (Nah, not me-just because you think they’re out to get you doesn’t mean they’re not) I’d say it had more to do with our new trash can cover. We’ve finally managed to hit on a cover style that the deer haven’t found a way to open yet if the door is fastened.

Before this new cover, we could count on the deer thriving in our trash cans overnight as they sat at the curb waiting to be picked up. Or as we waited for the alarm to go off at 5:30 a.m. so we could drag our butts out of bed and take the cans to the curb to keep the deer out of them, we would find them lurking in the mangroves across the street waiting on us to leave the cans so they could ravage them before the trash truck arrived.

When Waste Management became so inconsistent that we had to baby sit trash cans for up to an hour, we decided that it was time for a new cover. This cover has an easily lifted wood latch across the door of a four-sided enclosure, but for some unknown reason, our local deer haven’t figured them out yet. We can actually place the cans at the curb at night and not find the trash strewn for hundreds of yards down the street in the morning.

We tried the bungie cord route. If the deer didn’t chew through the cords, the raccoons did, or Waste Management made them part of the trash pick-up. We had cans that latched on the small lip around the outside. Those were a joke. The deer figured out early that if they knocked them on the ground and stomped once, the latch came loose. And it was smorgasbord time. Of course, when the deer couldn’t figure an immediate way into the cans, Waste Management staff helped them out by either, making the lids part of the pick up, tossing them into the street, leaving them in the street and running over them on the return trip, or just plain eating them, I’m not sure which.

Anyway, we have temporarily solved the trash can dilemma. And I can only think that is why we have fewer visitors in the yard right now.

You see, they’re all congregated at their enclave across the street in the mangroves, attempting to design a way to return to the inside of our trash cans.

When I pull in tomorrow night, or the night after, and am met by a half-dozen headlight-brightened eyes, I’ll know that the honeymoon is over, and that the trash cans are once again community property.

A new scheme will be needed.

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