Nature and humankind go hand-in-hand (or paw/claw/talon/hoof-in-hand) in Idyllwild. We appreciate each other on many levels and encroach upon each other on many levels.

There are residents who make it their cause to help out the deer during drought conditions by putting out water, hay and saltlicks, ensuring that the local mule deer establish travel patterns for foraging and grazing that zigzag through our streets and yards. Being creatures of habit and opportunity, they (the deer) frequent areas that offer these additions to their normal menu.

I hate to be the “bear”-er of bad news but this compassion for the survival of the deer inadvertently invites predators like wildcats, coyotes and, perhaps, bears to frequent these same areas looking for unsuspecting large prey. Resident pets become delectable targets and people feel less safe taking their walks or working in their yards, not to mention the area becoming less safe for the deer being attracted to food and water sources left out by caring individuals.

I know, it’s that Darwin thing again: The deer who are able to escape danger will live to multiply and perpetuate their strength and cunning, and those who are caught by bears or other predatory beasts, well, so it goes.

But why invite danger to them, to our pets, and to our residents by encouraging deer, and inevitably those who stalk them, to come into our yards? Just sayin’.

 Cathy Edberg