As I type this, there's a good sized doe in my back yard, nibling on some cedar branches. There's probably a few others out there too, but I haven't seen 'em yet tonight. Last night, there was three of them. At one point last night, I walked into my dining room with the lights off, and surprised one that was standing on my patio. She just froze, as did I. She was roughly 20 feet away. We stared at each other for a while, then I ever-so-slowly backed away, so as to not spook her.
We've had a pretty tough winter this year. Lots of snow. Usually when the deer are coming out of the bush to feed on cedar hedges, and decorative bushes, it's a sign that they're not finding food in the woods. I certainly hope that's not the case this year, but three years ago, the Quebec Fish & Game Dept., said that over 50,000 deer were lost to starvation. That was a particularly heavy snow-accumulation period. The Fish & Game people, were flying in bales of hay by helicopter, to try and save as many as they could.
Apparently, when food is scarce, the deer tend to gather in herds. These herds then trample down the snow, allowing some of the deer to feed on the underlying grass. The bucks will chase off the fawns, and the older/weaker deer, so that the strongest can survive. The wildlife biologists said that they were finding deer hanging from the forks in branches of trees. Apparently, the deer are standing on their hind legs, trying to nibble on tree branches, but sometimes, their back legs sink through the snow-banks, and they get hung-up. Very sad.
The good news is, the ones I saw lasy night, and the doe I saw tonight, all looked fairly healthy. We're forcasting unusually warm weather tomorrow, with rain over-night. Hopefully, that'll expose a bit of browse for them.
Four years ago, I saw as many as 10 deer, standing in a 30 foot circle, 10 feet from my living-room windows. I have four floor-to-ceiling windows in that room, and my cats would lay in front of the window, watching the deer. The fawns would have a staring-match with the cats. Kinda fun to watch actually.