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Gardening and Pronghorn

Every time I complain about not being able to get a deer, most of my neighbors tell me that they are in their yards, eating their trees/bushes/plants/gardens...... This is a normal occurrence during most Falls and Winters, but the years that the weather gets worse the deer and pronghorns are more likely to forage in cities and towns. The point being that some of the plants that we put in the ground for enjoyment – whether to look at or eat – are considered to be food by animals like deer and pronghorn. It doesn't seem to matter if they are familiar with that particular plant type, or not, either.

When planting a garden, it might be wise to take into consideration the local wildlife. Some plants that we enjoy are poisonous and/or toxic to wildlife. This problem seems to have come to light in the area around Cheyenne, not long ago (December 2009-January 2010). Wyoming had received more snows than usual, and more pronghorn had been seen foraging around Cheyenne neighborhoods. Because the pronghorn were eating non-native (decorative) plants, they are ingesting toxins in the plants. (The plant in the linked article is the yew bush, which is non-native to Wyoming.) No one is faulting people for planting decorative plants in their garden, but it might be a good idea to do a little research and see which of your favorite plants might be harmful to local wildlife.

For more information see: The antelope and the yew - By Shauna Stephenson, Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Monday, January 4, 2010