Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Deer Friends

Ruidoso, New Mexico is a resort community that relies heavily (well almost completely) on tourism as our local "industry". In the summer it's horse racing and the spectacular mountains and pines of the Lincoln National Forest. In the winter it's snow skiing at nearby Ski Apache. Season this with a dash of artists and galleries, a handful of restaurants and shops, a pound of casinos, a number of golf courses and you've got one enchanting community.
One of the most unusual aspects for some when visiting Ruidoso is that deer are protected inside the village limits. This means a close to nature experience and some of the animals have become quite tame. People feed them and children squeal with delight. Everyone that visits leaves with at least a half dozen pictures in the camera of...deer.
The deer are somewhat of a hazard for local drivers, especially at dusk. With a reasonable amount of alertness, it is possible to navigate around them with a surprisingly few deceased Bambis on the roadside. At a recent village council meeting it was suggested that the village ban the sale of deer corn, a dried corn sold in 50 pound sacks, to control the feeding of and lessen the number of deer hanging around town for dinner. The only upside to this notion is that corn is very bad for younger deer as they have not yet developed the abilty to properly digest it. Other than that, the deer eat far more than corn. Try a bag of apples or carrots. Gone! In fact they'd love you for a box of Captain and all! Banning the sale of deer corn in all of it's infinite wisdom would do only one thing, change their diet.
And think of the implications of the deer corn situation. Soon, the illegal trafficking of deer corn would spring up like a weed. Routes into Ruidoso would pass from west Texas and south of the border. Prices would skyrocket and many would make windfall profits from illegal deer corn smuggling. Sweet corn would fly off store shelves destined to dry out at illicit deer corn labs. Who knows, you could end up with one in your neighborhood. And think of the unsavory types that would drift into the area..."Hey kid...I got deer corn"! Niblets would cease to exsist.
This suggestion to ban deer corn really was made at a Ruidoso Village Council meeting. The next question is what do we target after this? Peas? Green beans? If you want to eat vegetables in Ruidoso, you'd better be planting a garden, and fence it the deer don't eat it!