Kellems: I’m the willing chump who feeds these beautiful creatures


Think this is all? Six others are off camera, awaiting their turns at the corn feast. But the snow was high and they needed food that was hard to find in such conditions.

Seven deer head back to the woods after a meal, courtesy of yours truly.

A week’s worth of corn sits ready to be loaded into my truck.

Story and photos by WNLP’s Mike Kellems

Well, this is another fine mess I’ve gotten myself into.

Ever start off with a project, intending to do something good in the world, and then it goes sideways? I seem to be able to do that quite often. I thought I’d share this one with our loyal WNLP readers.

Back in August 2018 I wrote about finding an injured fawn in the roadway and ultimately having to put the suffering deer down. I shared back then that it made me miserable. In an effort to make things better, I wrote that I’d put out a little more corn for the deer that wander through my neighborhood.

Mike Kellems

True to my word, I did start putting out more corn that year … and the following year … and it got to the point where, following the first heavy snow, the deer started showing up to the same spot looking for a meal. I didn’t want the deer to think I was a bad host, so I kept providing corn. It got to the point where it lasted just a few days.

As we all know, Ol’ Man Winter took his sweet time getting here this year. When he did arrive, he made up for lost time and blessed us with enough snow to make up for any failure on his part. We really got hammered, which made it more difficult for the deer to find food.

Sooo … I started putting out 50 pounds of corn each day.

I’m not sure how deer communicate. I picture in my mind the most senior deer yelling to the others, “Hey, Old Man Kellems is putting out a spread – let’s go!” However they do it, communicate they did and soon I was seeing at least a dozen – and often close to 20 (!) – parading through my back yard for a snack

And so, for the past six weeks, I’ve continued putting out 50 pounds of corn every day, much to the delight of the local deer population.

I will say this: They are fun to watch as they chase each other around the yard. They seem to have a hierarchy of sorts, often waiting for their turn. And you can definitely tell which momma deer is in charge of the little ones.

Now that the snow is going away, I’ll start slowly cutting back, which will help my budget; I’m often spending more money on corn at Tractor Supply than I am on people food at Al’s Supermarket.

But that’s all right – I need to drop a few pounds now that summer is coming!

6 Responses to “Kellems: I’m the willing chump who feeds these beautiful creatures”

  1. Lynn Lisarelli

    Mar 05. 2021

    How kind of you to do this, Mike! Thank you. I know of another couple who do the same thing. It is lovely to watch such beautiful and graceful creatures come into your yard, and you try to do what you can for them.

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  2. Deb

    Mar 05. 2021

    How awesome ! Thank you for the photo ! Thank you for being such a kind individual ! Taking care of Gods creatures…….<3

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  3. La Portean Smiling

    Mar 05. 2021

    Mike, I wanted to say thank you for sharing! The pictures you shared are awesome and inspiring! I am so sorry you had that experience with the fawn. I thought about this as I watched Disney’s Cinderella movie this morning. Remember to have kindness and courage. Two things you definitely inspire sir. Thank you again for sharing.

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  4. judi

    Mar 05. 2021

    Thanks for the picture of Gods creatures, how awesome. My father always took the time to feed the deer in his back yard and watch from his bedroom window as they came to feast on his treats. .

    Reply to this comment
  5. Anita Way

    Mar 05. 2021

    A Chump! What is the criteria of a Chump? If being caring, compassionate and a “good guy” makes one a Chump, then I need to work harder at it! Thank you for sharing and caring, Mike. I look forward to your “share info.”

    Highest Regards,

    Reply to this comment
  6. Paul

    Mar 06. 2021

    You mean well, I’m sure. But just for grins, why not read what the Indiana DNR has to say about the detrimental effects to these beautiful WILD creatures caused by feeding? Like I said, you mean well. But – This is the wrong thing to do. Please reconsider if you truly love these animals.

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