Friday, February 11, 2011

"Gone For Good" Farm Friend Friday

I walked the woods, hoping to find him. I faithfully fed each evening, hoping to see him. I purposedly hayed the horses late at night in case he needed total darkness to shield him. (they wait for me if they want a late night snack) His familiar form hidden in the shadows was not to be seen. I searched the edges of the cornfield where he bedded each evening, hoping to surprise him. I looked. I listened. I would call his name and they all just stared at me. I asked his new little companion buck who used to follow him, "where's Bossy Boy"? He just looked at me and trotted off. They know their names, they knew his name, they knew I was worried but the dividing line between human and wild animal does not permit question and answer as we know it.

I haven't heard coyote howls for quite awhile now. My dogs will be the first to join in. During their lengthy "lets pretend we are wolves" howling session I would run outside no matter what time of day or night to see if it was coyotes. Only the usual culprit could barely be heard, a distant shrill of a siren across the way.

Oh little Autumn, will you stay on the farm or leave me next year?
Hope is a very interesting little gift we have. Perhaps mine hid the obvious but this time of year is a strange one and I couldn't be sure. The deer didn't feed daily this time last year. Beauty Boy returned much too late compared to the previous years when the bucks would return. He would come and go. Bossy Boy didn't choose to feed daily either but he never stayed away more than three days. I prayed for something more obvious and I think I got it...

Brownie's brood rules and gets 'first choice'.
Two days ago a bitter cold front came to our area bringing spitting snow but nothing unusual. It was a strange day. The sun would shine brightly then the clouds came, then the sun came back out and by evening, the cold settled in and icy flakes feathered down bringing with them 38 hungry deer. I have never had that many visit the corn yard. It was joyful and peaceful and the rhythmic sounds of the crunching of corn was music to my ears. Everyone was there but Bossy Boy. If there was ever a time to come and feed, that day would be it. For some reason the various herds decided they wanted corn.

The Long Tails herd is very skittish and run at the slightest sound.
I hear deer go away to die. I have read that they seek dense woods which I don't really have. The remains do not last long with the predators needing a meal. Did he cross the creek into the dangerous killing lands? Did he limp across the highway late at night and disappear into thicker woods? He couldn't have jumped our perimater fencing so those two options were the only ones he had...unless he found a little thicket on the farm to seek his final moments. My Bossy Boy is gone and yes, gone for good. I guess...


Be sure to join  Farm Friend Friday hosted by Verde Farm. Take the weekend to browse the farm blogs, follow your favorites and make new friends!

23 comments:

JC said...

I wish I could be sitting on your porch while watching your deer.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Louise said...

That made me tear up. I'm sorry that you lost Bossy Boy. It's so hard when we no longer see a creature that we have known and loved.

I know that every time the turkey ladies come to the feeder, I count anxiously. And, right now, I'm worried because I haven't seen any of them in a couple of weeks. This has happened before, and they all show up again, perfectly fine, but, still, I worry.

Willard said...

It is hard to say, but he is likely gone for good. All of my bucks have shed their antlers now and one comes everyday, but the other only about twice a week and I have not seen the three year old and the largest two year old since September.

I have gone through this often,I notice that a deer is missing and look for it and fail to find it. One keeps hoping, the will show up, but eventually hope dies away.

I hope this is not the case with your Bossy Boy and he returns.

Country Gal said...

Maybe he has just moved on. You are lucky to have so many beautiful deer around you, they stick to tje heavey forrest here rarely see them out and about. Beautiful photos. Have a great day !

Buttons said...

Hello I read your story it is very touching, we have that thick, dense bush you talk about I love seeing the deer there. A few years ago they were fifty of them and they were licking the cow salt and eating the cows hay as the snow was so deep they could not get any food. We also watched the coyotes chase them in the deep snow slowing them down, it was not a site I like to remember. A rare occurrence. I love you writing. B

Cindy Caudle said...

I sorry for you loss. I know the pain of losing a fur baby. I enjoy the pictures of the other deer.

Linda said...

That's very sad! And, it's harder not knowing. But since we don't know--maybe he's not gone for good. We can always hope.

Rose H (UK) said...

I'm sorry that Bossy Boy is missing - it's worse not knowing what's happened. My heart goes out to you, and I hope one day (soon) he will return.

lisa said...

You are lucky to be able to see the amount of deer you do see, we are lucky to see one even once a year on our property. To many hunters around us. Including the hubby.

Carolee Sperry said...

We have coyotes around here, too and I used to worry about my goats when we had them.

Sorry Bossy Boy is on the missing list...

Visiting from Never Growing Old's Over 40 blog-hop.

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Have a fantastic weekend!

♥I am Holly♥ said...

That is so touching. Sometimes not knowing what happened is really so hard....definitely a loss in your life. Your pictures are beautiful of the other ones. I am so sorry. Lots of love, Debbie

Nancy@A Rural Journal said...

I'm sorry you are missing your friend. It's always hard when we get attached to animals, domestic or wild. They don't ever really belong to us -- do they?

Flat Creek Farm said...

I pray Bossy's Boy has just moved on. You write so beautifully of your deer friends. Have you ever thought about a book.. perhaps? Your artistic talents and writing abilities... I would buy it! -Tammy

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

tammy thank you for your thoughtful words. i purchased a deer book last year (the hidden life of deer) and never got through it as some of the info didn't 'jive' with what i learned here at the farm watching them each day. i often thought about writing about my babies but it is just a thought at this point in my life.

Verde Farm said...

I am so sorry Bossy Boy is gone. I know how much you love them and I would too. They are so beautiful and close to you-you can tell they know you are a friend. I hope the coyotes are gone for good!!
So sorry, Amy

Verde Farm said...

I am so sorry Bossy Boy is gone. I know how much you love them and I would too. They are so beautiful and close to you-you can tell they know you are a friend. I hope the coyotes are gone for good!!

Thanks for linking up to FF Friday.
So sorry, Amy

Mary Ann said...

Oh, no, I'm so sorry. I can't bear to hear the shots in the woods, either.

Verde Farm said...

Oh my gosh-you’ve outdone yourself this time girl--this is the cutest header EVER!! I love the new look. You better get to work on a spring header for me :)

Honest Abe Lincoln said...

A poignant story. Most interesting to just read and let your mind wander through the words. I really enjoyed it a lot.

Teresa said...

I'm so sorry. I have a family of seven or so deer living on my farm and the two adjoining properties, and I've really enjoyed watching them the last couple of days (even though they were napping in my just beginning orchard).

Rural Rambler said...

Kritter Keeper your header is outstanding!

I am so sorry about Bossy Boy. I know how much you love and respect your deer. I know they are close to your heart. I am going to choose that Bossy Boy moved to another territory. I am just in denial that way and hope for the best. We are still missing two of our turkey and the spring hunt starts soon :(

Future Farmer said...

I just found your blog.
I am so sorry for your loss.

I have been writing a blog called Future Farmer.
http://joyoffarming.blogspot.com/

On this blog, I've been writing about my desire to become a farmer.I have also posted my observations on society.

Phyllis said...

I understand why there are so many deer, because their natural prey has been almost eliminated by humans. I know intelectually that their numbers need to be reduced by hunting, but it doesn't make me like it one bit.

My little herd eats so much of my gardens and I see them every evening. I ask them to please save some of my flowers for my own enjoyment. But I still don't want them killed by bow, rifle or car.