I was driving my daughter home from school, and we noted a line of cars in front of us had stopped. Why? It turns out deer were crossing the street. We drove home, and by now, the deer were in my neighbor’s backyard. He counted six of them total.
When we first bought our house about fifteen years ago, I don’t remember any signs of deer near our house. A few blocks away in Edison, where there is a bit more forest-like area, yes, but not on our suburban streets. In the past few years, we have had many signs of deer. And some photographs of deer as well!
Perhaps the one in the back was about to make a bowel movement. I didn’t wait around to see.
So is it cute to see deer in New Jersey backyards? Or are they pests?
There was a study in 2002: Most New Jersey residents think that deer are beautiful and are an important part of the balance of nature. However, half of the state’s residents also think that, in the case of deer, it is possible to have too much of a good thing.
Here is a list of landscape plants rated by deer resistance. Hostas, beware. You are on their munch hit list. In general, there are scientists at Rutgers studying the excessive deer population in New Jersey.