Sometimes we get so fixated on solving a problem that’s gotten under our skin that we don’t realize the solution is worse than the problem. If you’ve ever gone full Bill Murray in Caddyshack on a backyard critter, you know what I’m talking about.
A couple of years ago I started noticing signs of deer intrusion on our property, which is mostly fenced in. Walking the fence-line I eventually found a downed oak tree which took a section of the fence down with it, so I cut up the tree and repaired the fence. Unfortunately, that trapped the deer inside.
Over the coming months the deer became bolder and started coming close to the house, eating our landscape plants and stripping all the leaves it could reach off our citrus trees, telling us it was a young deer. Wherever it lived on our property, it was using the landscaped area around our home as a 24/7 restaurant.
While putting up temporary fencing around everything the deer seemed to be fond of, I felt a snap in my left hand and spent the next few months hoping whatever I’d done would heal on its own. It did not, and five weeks ago I finally had surgery to repair what turned out to be a fully torn ligament, which is still healing.
Meanwhile, the deer had grown into an impressive young buck; we started seeing it in the daytime looking like it wanted out of our fence, probably to mate. The thing bolted whenever we came near, so we just left a gate open for a few days and, sure enough, we saw its hoof prints exit our property, so we closed the gate and that was that.
What did I learn from all this?
Now I have tons of temporary fencing to take down. Did I need to put any of it up in the first place? I’m not really sure, but considering the months of pain and cost of the injury to my hand, it probably wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t exactly a full blown Caddyshack move, but I feel sort of dumb about the whole thing just the same.
Also you can Google how to get rid of a deer and read pretty much everything there is to read on the subject and never see the words, “Wait until it wants to leave and let it out.” As I always say, we learn through experience in the real world, not by reading all sorts of nonsense in the virtual world.
Call me Carl Spackler.