March 30, 1918 Continued
ALARM CLOCK TO KEEP DEER OUT OF CURRY FARM
Superintendent Langdon of the Southern Curry Telephone company witnessed a remarkable incident while stopping at the Hardenbrook ranch, down below Pistol river a few days ago, says the Gold Beach reporter.
Along in the evening, while Mr. Hardenbrook was doing up the day’s chores, Mr. Langdon overheard him ask his son if he had gone up in the field and wound the alarm. Curiosity got the better of Mr. Langdon so he inquired the reason they set an alarm clock way out in the field, thinking, perhaps, it was used to awaken the bossies at an early hour so they would be on hand at milking time.
Mr. Hardenbrook then explained that the deer have become so numerous and bold in the neighborhood that a five-foot fence around his oat field was no barrier whatever to the animals and the threatened to ruin his crop if measures were not taken to stop the depredations. Accordingly, he strung a wire across the field and fastened one of his hounds to it with a sliding attachment which permitted the dog to traverse the entire length of wire. Thus when the wary deer came to browse on the tender oat sprouts the hound was on his feet instantly, rushing out along the wire, all the while barking furiously. This scheme worked fine and for a time it began to look as though Mr. Hardenbrook would harvest a full crop of oats.
However, the deer became aware of the fact that a barking dog seldom bites and soon paid little attention to his ominous yelping. The dog, too, soon found his exertions only led him to the other end of the wire, so he paid no more attention to the deer, and spent all his time snoozing.
Mr. Hardenbrook then realized he would have to change his tactics if he wished to save the oats, but this was a difficult problem, as the cunning animals do their feeding at night and are seldom seen during the day. He finally hit upon the plan of putting an alarm clock in an empty oil can and setting the alarm to go off at midnight, creating an uproarious din out in the oat patch, which makes the does, bucks and fawns flee in terror. And so, one of the evening chores at the Hardenbrook ranch is to “go up in the oat field and set the alarm” lest the deer consume the coming crop.
For more stories like this, check out “The Archive,” a weekly podcast series at mailtribune.com/podcasts