Green River Star -

Our view: Residents can solve deer issue


What to do with the local deer population has been a contentious subject in Green River for the past few years, but while they can be pesky, at this point, they’re probably better left alone.

One caveat we would like to make involves deer proven to be aggressive against city residents and other animals. We think they should be killed as they present a tangible threat to others.

The deer living in the city are here to stay, with the only thing changing that is a mass culling designed to devastate the population. While some may see that as an acceptable approach, the main problem is any program designed to kill multiple deer can threaten other residents and animals in Green River.

One idea initially floated by a few residents several years ago was for police officers or “trained marksmen” to shoot deer within city limits. While we don’t doubt there are residents who could shoot a coin from 300 yards using their rifle, there’s too much possibility for a mistake. Mistakes with firearms or even crossbows would certainly result in property damage at the very least or death in a worst-case scenario. It’s too risky.

Another solution, poison, is even more problematic as a poison used against the deer would more than likely also be hazardous to humans and other animals. The potential for unintended harm is too great.

The city’s willingness to initiate a second deer survey only a few years after completing such a survey seems more like a ploy to kick the issue down the road than anything else and we believe the survey results will mirror the results of the previous survey, showing residents divided on the issue. While there are those who can’t stand the deer, others of course enjoy their presence. Any decision will be met with disapproval, but the city council shouldn’t hesitate too long in deciding if the deer are a benefit or a hazard to our community.

If the city’s residents want to do something about the deer population, methods that will impact the population over time are the best solutions. This means residents should call and report their neighbors if they’re seen feeding the deer and gardeners should design their gardens to make it difficult for deer to access, as well as grow plants that don’t agree with a deer’s diet. These more passive approaches won’t be overnight successes, but if continued pressure on the population through their food source continues for an extended amount of time, the number of deer in Green River will naturally decrease.


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