VIRGINIA BEACH — Volunteers with Wildlife Response spent time, effort and money building a drive into the developing complex in a wooded area along Indian River Road.
They made it wider and stronger. Load after load of crushed cement sank into the soft soil until it was sturdy.
Then there was another challenge with the path: people kept driving off it, but the grass nearby was not an amenable surface. Some become stuck along the entrance.
“One time, my wife came over to bring pizza, and she did it,” Haynie noted.
Others, including off-roaders who snuck into the place, tore up the property.
“They were just tearing it up,” Haynie said. “I mean, tearing it up badly.”
The volunteers put up stakes along the entry with yellow tape to prevent people from turning off the path.
“We were hoping to keep people from driving all around.”
But you notice the tape kept breaking. Haynie soon arrived upon a suspect – a certain deer that was sometimes caught on trail cameras around the property. The deer started checking out the cameras when he was a fawn.
One night, Haynie saw the deer – now boasting antlers – near the gates.
“He was sitting there looking. When the chain clanged on the gate, he took off across the field.”
Through the tape.
“I’d just fixed it the night before.”
The stakes are still up, but only remnants of the tape remain.
Haynie figures the deer has figure out that crossing the yellow tape is a caution meant only for mere humans.
“It doesn’t hurt him,” Haynie said.
“I think he likes doing it.”
A permanent bollard and rope barrier will be installed along the drive soon, thanks to an Eagle Scout project. It should be noticeable enough for drivers to avoid.
And low enough for deer to go over.
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