February 6, 2023

Trains Blocking Deer Migration, Causing Crop Damage?

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After reading the article in the Portland Press Herald today, about a small lettuce farmer in Yarmouth, Maine losing all his lettuce crop to hungry deer because he thinks a bunch of train tankers cars are blocking the deer migration route, I began to wonder. Maybe there’s more deer in this farmer’s lettuce crop than usual because the new head deer biologist at the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) says the deer herd has “rebounded.” But then again maybe not so much.

Bruce Hincks normally doesn’t have so much trouble with deer eating his crops. But this year is quite different and he has struggled for an answer. Now he thinks a string of about 100 oil tanker train cars is blocking the deer from going to a field across the tracks where they normally hang out. He says they are trapped and can’t get around the roughly one-mile-long blockade. The tankers have been fixed in that one spot for at least a month.

Right or wrong, he isn’t getting much help for his dilemma. Nobody has talked to the railroad and MDIFW doesn’t have a solution short of deciding whether or not to kill off about a dozen troublesome deer. Hincks has tried multiple solutions to keep the deer out of his crop; from ineffective 8-foot netting, to noise and scent repellent.

The farmer says he’s about fed up enough to buy a gun and take matters into his own hands.

I certainly hope he can pass a background check!