This is not something that our deer eat, or any animal that I'm aware of, except a black bear. That is possible in my area and they have been sighted lately but I doubt it. I didn't see any prints. Does it look like a caterpillar or some other bug? I can't figure this out. Anyone ever see this on their J in the P?
geribash--yours is leafcutter bees. They're beneficial and won't harm a plant that size so I would leave them alone. They are only active like this for a short period of time each year while they build their nests.
Not sure what's eating windsor224's leaves but it's not leafcutter bees. Any chance it could be rabbits? Sort of looks like a 4-legged critter vs a bug, although I wouldn't rule out some sort of hungry caterpillar.