OK. That’s an exaggeration.
Nobody is advocating the wholesale slaughter of deer as children watch.
But there is a growing number of people who want Colorado Springs’ resident herd of mule deer thinned. And I don’t mean put on a diet. Thinned as in killed and the meat donated to soup kitchens or animal sanctuaries that use venison to feed wolves, big cats and other animals.
It seems there are deer everywhere. My backyard is no exception. Here are some of the deer I’ve seen in recent weeks:
Like a lot of people, my family and I enjoy having them around and we feel spoiled when we get to watch them spar in the greenbelt behind our house. Sure they munch the landscaping. But it seems a small price.
It’s even more of a thrill to spot fox and bobcat. Or our neighborhood coyote on a morning hunt, like these:
We even get frequent visits from a mother bear and her cubs. Here’s a look at her:
However, when a friend spotted a mountain lion in the greenbelt creeping along the deer trail, we had second thoughts about having deer lounging around our house. Especially since we have kids and pets.
Now it’s troubling to see them just hanging around.
And the deer pose a traffic hazard, jumping wildly out in traffic. It’s happening everywhere. Check out this news release from State Farm Insurance Co. – the largest insurrae of cars and homes in America. Want to know your odds of hitting a deer while driving? Check out this map from State Farm which sets the odds in every state:
A search of newspapers nationwide finds a growing number of cities and counties are dealing with the same problem of deer infestation. Here’s a look at Colorado’s deer population from the Division of Wildlife dowdeerpopulation and the Colorado State Extension Service csuextensiondeer.
Some communities have tried trapping and moving deer. Others use dart guns to inject does with anti-fertility drugs.
But it seems the only real cost-effective means of reducing deer numbers is a lethal solution.
However, nobody wants high-powered rifles going off in any city. So many cities are turning to bow hunters to conduct controlled hunts inside city limits.
And Rapid City, S.D., sends professional sharpshooters at night, with silencers on their weapons, to quietly cull its herd of deer.
What do you think, if anything, should be done in Colorado Springs?