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THE DAYS ARE GETTING SHORTER, AND DEER ARE GETTING … WELL … AHEM … FRISKIER

White-tailed buck approaching doe (image credit: Jaime Johnson/The Spokesman Review)

White-tailed buck approaching doe (image credit: Jaime Johnson and Lisa Johnson)

ohDEER is the leader in all natural deer, mosquito, and tick control.

In 2017 we will celebrate a decade in business.

Out of our corporate office, based in Wayland, MA, we service Metropolitan Boston and Boston proper.

Our franchise business, launched only two years ago, is growing fast – and is immensely successful.  There are seven ohDEER franchises – one each focused on serving the regions of Boston Metropolitan North; Cape Cod; Martha’s Vineyard; Nantucket; Southeastern Massachusetts; Eastern Long Island, NY; and Central New Jersey.

As is our frequent mantra in this space regarding deer, we adore the creatures being the deer species in New England –and find them majestic and elegant and awe inspiring. We also consider them delicious to eat.

We study deer –with a specific focus on white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), the species of deer that inhabits the U.S. Northeast.

And we always keep front and center on our radar screen that deer munch on valued leaves and shrubs and other plant life.  Positioned front and center on our radar screen, as well, is that deer carry ticks which transmit disease.

Result of deer and car collision (image credit: Kurt Upham)

Result of deer and car collision (image credit: Kurt Upham)

Therefore, of course, our affection for deer does not modify or limit or inhibit one iota our dedication to keeping them off your property,

But as for our interest in, and that affection for, deer, we share here today how the changing of the season and the shortening of the days are having an effect on deer behavior.

All animals, including humans, are affected by seasonal changes, including variation on temperature, length of day, and even amount of rain.

Animals in the wild, though – and that includes the rare humans that still live in the wild – are far more influenced by seasonal changes that we civilized beings, and captive non-humans, whose environments are artificially modified.

Presently, and on the whole, deer – and the deer in New England are white-tailed deer – are feeling the seasonal change more acutely than humans.

And, presently, deer – both male and female – are entering breeding season, also called the “rut.”  The rut is brought about by the seasonal change.

“We are losing light every day, and will continue to do so until the winter solstice, which, this year, is on December 21,” said Kurt Upham, co-founder and co-owner, with his wife, Colleen, of ohDEER.  “A reduction in daylight is the major factor that results in deer moving into the rut; for as length of daylight decreases, it affects the pineal gland in bucks and does, resulting in a change in hormones that makes the animals desiring for and looking to mate.”

“As fall continues, male testosterone boosts, and the bucks grow antlers, with males using antlers to joust and fight with the goal of securing a mating privilege.  Females change in that their estrogen rises and their progesterone decreases which makes them go into estrus, which is the period of maximum female receptivity to mating.”

Kurt further explained that when deer are in the rut, with so much sex on their brains, that they aren’t the most rational of animals – and with the mating game involving bucks chasing does, the incidence of deer running into roads and in front of motor vehicles is far higher than in non-rut season.

Accordingly, a word of caution, everyone.

ohDEER will continue, here, in this space, from time to time, to share more information on deer … those wonderful and beautiful animals, which we, using all natural methods, keep off your property.