I used to be on the D&DH board, but forgot my password and user name(one of the things that didn't come back after the car crash I was in).
The herd here has been pretty constant at around 14 individuals or so for more than 10 years. We always have more stop by in winter to feed, but they go elsewhere come Spring green-up. The most we have had was 23 at one time when there was snow on the ground. The bucks dispurse from here at 14 to 18 months of age, but we have had some return as adults because they know there is always food (and does) around. I sometimes see huge bucks here at night near the peak of the rut when I'm coming home from a hockey game.
There is land behind me that is legally hunted, so I always expect to lose some deer every year. I just didn't want the neighbor's son-in-law shooting deer as they were coming into what has traditionally been a "safe zone" for them. I lost one doe that had been eating from my hand for more than five years to somebody legally hunting. I miss seeing her, but I know the meat is not going to waste. She was as healthy as they get too. Whatever, there will be another one to take over her place in the herd. I will not hunt anywhere near here just because of what I have created.
Before the sub-division northwest of my property was expanded, I used to get some seriously big gobblers here as well. I have some video footage of them, though I usually just studied them from out the window through a spotting scope. We saw one hen last year after a hurricane blew thorugh here & that's it.
P.S. Thanks for the picture posting info,Ben. I got some studying to do to get my pics down to page size. Thanks.