Deer in Mt. Pleasant

“Dear PoPville,

I live in Mt. Pleasant and on my way to the metro this morning, I noticed something a bit out of the ordinary–a spike buck in the fenced-in playground of an apartment building around the intersection Mt. Pleasant Street and Hobart Street. A guy who walked up shortly after I stopped to take the attached pictures said that the spike had been there a little while and had apparently injured himself when he jumped the fence. The man said he called animal control and that they were responding.

Having grown up on a farm, I was accustomed to seeing deer almost every morning once the cold, autumn air arrived, so it was a nice surprise to see this reminder of home. I just hope the little guy didn’t hurt himself too badly when he hurdled the fence. I am also wondering what drove him so far out of Rock Creek Park (which is where I assume he came from).”

24 Comment

  • Great photo! I once saw a deer walking up Webster St. from 14th at 1:30 in the morning. Really. He got spooked when he saw me and ran up toward 16th St. Had a full rack on his head.

  • aww he looks so sweet

  • I have seen deer every night the past week or so on Massachussetts Avenue between Wisconsin and Nebraska, as well as at the intersection of Idaho and Cathedral. I LOVE seeing wildlife roam the city 😀

  • With hunting obviously out of the question, does anyone know how the NPS controls the deer population in Rock Creek Park? Their natural predators are long gone.

    • Except for the coyotes, mountain lions, and Maryland drivers.

    • There are indeed coyotes repopulating Rock Creek Park

    • They want to shoot them, actually. The EIS amnd plan were released in 2009, and the rule was supposed to be decided this year, but I can’t find any record of it actually happening. The deer management plan included the following:

      Option A – No new action – Monitoring, data management, research, and use of protective caging and repellents in landscaped areas; the deer population would likely continue to grow.
      Option B – Non-lethal actions – Very large fenced areas (5% of the park) would allow some forest regeneration while park staff would slowly reduce the deer population through reproductive control. There would still be a lot of damage to unfenced areas in the park while we wait for the population to decline.
      Option C – Lethal actions – Killing the deer through sharpshooting (and by capture and killing where sharpshooting would not be appropriate). This would rapidly reduce the deer population to a sustainable level.
      Option D – Both lethal and non-lethal actions – quickly reduce the number of deer, following up with population control so they never get back to this point.

      NPS recommended Option D.

  • Yesterday morning, I noticed a deer carcass in the median of Rock Creek Parkway, near the southbound Waterside Drive overpass.

  • RCP is overrun with deer, as is Crestwood. I’m surprised this doesn’t happen more often. And here comes the rut – keep away from the dudes with the racks.

  • I love Louis CK’s stand up bit about deer. You should be able to find it on youtube.

  • One ran into my truck on the way home yesterday on Rock Creek Park. Two of them just jumped into traffic. If the car in front of me hadn’t have locked on their brakes, we would have missed, but I had to stop too. The deer was stunned, but finished running into Mt. P area. I wonder if it was the same deer?

  • Poor deer. The pokey things on the fence probably got him. I hope they didn’t just put him down.

    • There are more deer in the continental U.S. now than before the arrival of the pilgrims. I’m fine with this one being put down – much more humane than what would happen in nature.
      The sad part is the wasted meat.

      • What an idiotic comment. PErhaps you should be put down (humanely, of course) as well then? Also, sources to support your facts would be great.

        • Deer populations across the eastern US are generally many times over the carrying capacity of the land. Just ask any wildlife biologist or land manager (I’m one). Around here, we usually put the recommended number of deer around 10-20 per square mile. In many places the actual density is closer to 100-120 per square mile.

          This is because we have extirpated all of the deer’s natural predators except human hunters. And the number of hunters is declining, while the land available to them to hunt is also declining.

          Contrary to popular belief, overpopulation does not usually reach the point of deer starving to death, although that sometimes happens. It does result in more negative conflict with humans (auto crashes/deaths, Lyme, landscaping). It also causes severe ecological damage to the forest. The deer basically raze the forest floor, destroying the native plant community. Forest composition changes, as oak and maple seedlings get chowed down, preventing regeneration. Invasive plants, which deer don’t like, start to take over. Result: the entire ecosystem is altered for the worse and can take decades/centuries to recover. Native wildflower species, and the wildlife community which depends upon them, risk extinction.

      • Some neighbors got a deer butchered at the little grocery on Mount Pleasant Street next to 7-11.

        Great butcher shop, btw.

  • Just to save the other city slickers like me from having to google:

    Spike Buck noun – a male deer typically in its second year with unbranched antlers on both sides.

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