For immediate release by Playbuck magazine
“Where all our girls are buck-naked and doe-eyed”
Playbuck magazine, the leading voice for male deer, is pleased to report the results of recent in-depth research into the all-important question for our readers, what do does really want? Interviews were conducted with a random sample of 462 female deer, all of mating age. They were asked what turns them on, and what doesn’t.
Surprisingly, 86% of these tawny beauties said that they like their bucks to sport some macho antler velvet in the fall let’s-get-it-on season. “I can’t stand the clean antler look,” said two-year-old Bambi, her perky tail quivering provocatively. “When I see that a buck who is flirting with me has rubbed his velvet off, I run off into the brush as fast as I can,” she added.
Here’s an even more unexpected result: 92% of the does were turned off by bucks leaving scent-marks on small trees. “I just am not attracted to a deer who has to play that old I’m-the-biggest-stud-in-the-forest game. I like a buck who has enough confidence that he doesn’t have to mark his territory,” Bambi told us.
Guys, pay attention! You’ve always thought that the ladies liked it when you rubbed your antlers on trees, but that’s not what our research shows. Cool it with this sort of rubbing, and soon you’ll be hot with another sort—get it?
Well, I doubt that this press release will do much good, given how few male deer read weblogs regularly (or irregularly). But Laurel and I are desperate to try anything to stop the local bucks from wrecking the trees we’ve planted on our property. For some reason they seem to have a special fondness for trees we bought, carried down paths, dug holes for, and carried water to for several years.
These are native trees, so how can a stupid deer tell the difference between a native tree that grew for free in the forest, and a native tree that cost $30 at a nursery? Amazingly, most of the buck-rubbings on our five acres are on the comparatively few plantings that we’ve put dollars, labor, and time into. Go figure. I guess the deer are trying to drive us insane, or out of their territory.
This is a non-native example that got photographed because it is conveniently close to our house. A nice-looking tree from a distance, a not-so-nice looking tree when you see that bark has been rubbed off of one side of the trunk (not all the way around, fortunately).
Laurel puts netting around the most buck-attractive trees: slender with naked trunks (sounds pretty nice to me too). We also used to spray them with deer repellant (Deer-Off is our favorite brand) but figured that netting would discourage the horny bucks just as well. Wrong. Now it is netting and Deer-Off, plus deceptive press releases.
Here’s a description, from a hunter’s perspective, of what is going on in the male deer body and mind in the fall mating season. It’s not so different from what goes on in the male human body and mind all the time: angling for attention from the ladies and fending off the competition. So we understand and sympathize with Mr. Buck, or however many bucks there are nearby. We just wish he/they would find another way of attracting does.
How about some flowers? So long as they don’t come from our yard.