When I left home for college in 1978 I had never seen a deer in this community. I suppose there may have been a few around, but they were extremely rare.
Nowadays I see them everyday. They’re a major nuisance to gardeners, to say the least.
The amount of wildlife here now compared to when I was growing up here is remarkable. Wild turkey were very rare then. Now they’re common. There were no coyotes, bears, herons, geese, or eagles. Now they’re fairly common too.
In my first 18 years here I only saw one hawk. Now I see them daily.
Even the wildlife that we did have then is more common now. In the last week I’ve discovered a rabbit in our garage, and one in our hoop house. We used to have to flush them with rabbit dogs.
Squirrels used to run and hide when a human approached. Now they just watch us pass, entirely unconcerned.
We had possums and coons back then, but not nearly as many as we have now.
So why is wildlife so much more abundant now? I suspect it’s partly because there is far less hunting now. It’s also possible that they’re retreating here from areas being developed. A big reason, I believe, is that the environment is less toxic now than it was then.
Whatever the reason, these days, they’re everywhere.