Kathy Harkner: Deer problem ‘serious’

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To the editor:

The deer problem in Craig is serious and detrimental to the safety of pets and citizens of Craig.

My first bad experience with them was five years ago, on Nov. 12, which you can look up in your archives and find an article on the front page of that day’s Craig Daily Press.

It has only escalated since then. Enough already. These deer are just as much of a threat as bears, cougars, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, etc., and need to be destroyed.

I have a proposal to make to the people who do not see them as a threat and to the people who refuse to go along with the proposals of the Colorado Division of Wildlife and Craig City Council per the meeting the other night at Craig City Hall that I attended.  

To these people, whom, in my opinion, are living a very sheltered life in their own little world, you guys can establish and maintain a fund to assist victims of deer attacks with vet bills, compensation for pets that are killed and for human victims and their families, as this is inevitable to happen in the very near future.

Trust me, I know, as I have encountered these aggressive wild animals also known as deer, and it’s scary. I am afraid every time I have to go outdoors and am always looking in every direction, as the deer are out here, 24/7, 12 months out of the year.

I have lived in my present home for nearly 27 years and have been watching the escalation of the problem.

The herd in Craig is multiplying at the rate of two and three fawns, per doe, per year.

You do the math. And, none of them leave; they continue to live inside the city limits and keep multiplying.

Hello? Let’s wake up and smell the coffee beans before another pet has to suffer and a citizen gets injured or killed. This is not a laughing matter and needs to be taken care of, preferably yesterday. 

Thanks.

Kathy Harkner

Comments

justateacher 4 years, 1 month ago

Who was here first in Moffat County? Them or us?

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als362 4 years, 1 month ago

I have lived near the deer for 30 years also. I have had no problems with these animals. In my opinion the people that are having these problems don't know how to behave in the presence of these animals.
When I see deer in my yard I stay inside, or just go to the door to take pictures. Going out into your yard is inviting these problems.
You would not go out in your yard if you knew a wild dog was there. I don't think so. Yet it seems, from reading the posts on this website many people do just that. People need to keep in mind that when they go outside when the deer are there, they are trespassing on the deer's space. I say that because the deer were here long before there even was a Craig. So any piece of ground that you claim to be yours, is really just on loan from the wildlife that really own it and have owned it in perpetuity. Any interaction with these animals is not the smart thing to do.
Leave the deer alone and you will have no issues with them.
Going out in your yard and swinging a broom at them as one lady said she did, is offensive to a wild animal, and will cause them to attack or act in an aggressive manner. Just a few days ago, I was in my yard with a large 4X4 buck that was eating grass. I wanted to take some photos. I was able to accomplish this safely because I kept my actions to a minimum. I did not approach the deer, or make any fast or exagerated movements. Leave the deer and elk alone. They were here long before you were, and will be here long after you are gone.

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greenie52 4 years, 1 month ago

I think Harkner needs to be in the Wizard Of Oz, LIons, Tigers and Bears , OH MY

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dxdy 4 years, 1 month ago

My house was built in 1975. If we have 35 year old deer walking around town then that has got to be a world record for longest living deer ever. Otherwise, my house and yard were here before any of these deer were. Personally, I could take or leave the deer, but I really hate the argument "They were here first." There are many reasons to defend the deer's presence in town. Please quit using this one.

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David Moore 4 years, 1 month ago

Seriously..... Prior to the encroachment of civilization and the incorporation of a city, this area was devoid of humans and wildlife ruled the show, it was their home and still is. WE are the trespassers. The wildlife were part of the package for building a city on the home of those here before us, are we really going to lower ourselves to a mass slaughter of them because of a couple dogs and a brazen broom wielding citizen? I'm in the process of looking into some things, there has to be some animal rights that will fall into play to stop the mass execution of native wildlife...yes, NATIVE(meaning here all along) wildlife? More to come......

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als362 4 years, 1 month ago

Exactly correct Mr. Moore, right on the money!

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Nadja Rider 4 years, 1 month ago

All you deer lovers need to get a grip! Have you forgotten that we live in a popular hunting area, yes HUNTING - not petting zoo!

Deer are wild animals, they should never have been allowed to multiply to this level in town. We manage deer, yes - hunt, kill and eat deer outside of town. How in the world is in town any different? Hunters come here to HUNT them!

Nobody said they would remove or kill ALL the deer, but they need to be managed, something that has obviously not been done. Another post mentioned that it won't be long before predators find the easy pickings in town. So not only will we have a resident deer problem, but predators like mountain lion roaming about as well. They're already prowling on the outskirts.

And DavidMoore, do you really want to invite the likes of PETA into Craig?

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David Moore 4 years, 1 month ago

After some rather eye opening research and extensive reading, I am modifying(not changing) my stance in the argument because apparently this type of "management" goes on all over the country. Extreme overpopulation, increased car collisions, EXTENSIVE(in the tens of thousands) property damage and sickly animals(CWD) were prime reasons for management, not because scruffy was gored for scaring them or because broom lady was "stared down". These communities had legitimate problems and are doing it for the sake of the deer, not a personal agenda. If the deer are that big of a problem, and y'all just can't help yourselves, lets think this through a little more and come up with a reasonable, non-mass slaughter style plan to control the population that includes education and assistance for property owners on what types of plants and shrubs to keep that the deer won't be attracted to. A plan that includes harsh penalties for feeding wildlife. A plan that is cost effective to the taxpayers yet brings some form of reasonable control to the population of deer that everyone can agree on. Craig is known for it's wildlife, we sure the heck aren't known for the wave pool...we didn't get listed in "Wave Pool Weekly" for being the best wave pool now did we? No, we're known for being a rural community smack dab in the middle of nature at it's finest and were once listed in various outdoor magazines as a prime place to hunt....deer. Personally I'd kinda like to keep it that way, I don't want to be known for killing off our livelihood, our symbol, our image as a rural hunting community. We actually have it pretty easy, some of the towns that I read about had thousands of resident deer and it cost them large to keep them under control. Prices were anywhere from $200-$400 per deer to do this by sharpshooters or bow-hunters. Take that times the what, 400 deer in our area and you have a bill of anywhere between $80,000 to $160,000, taxpayer money. Sterilization was way overpriced and trapping/relocation even more expensive, leaving them alone ironically turned out to be the least expensive method. I still believe, like others do, that the costs associated with a management plan, whatever it may be, should come from those who have a problem and want control. I should not have to pay for something that bothers broom lady but doesn't bother me. I just became annoyed and opened my mouth because I don't like it when people whine and then get their way. The reasons some Craig citizens have voiced to get rid of the deer are ridiculous, selfish, and appease a small elite group of people, they're not for the health of the deer or the community as a whole. No matter what you do or how you do it, they will always be here, they will never leave, this is their home as much as it is ours. In my opinion, live with that fact or relocate yourself somewhere surrounded by concrete and tall buildings.

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David Moore 4 years, 1 month ago

"And DavidMoore, do you really want to invite the likes of PETA into Craig?"

No, not really. I did look at their website and there is a pretty easy way to contact them and get them involved...if they would even consider it. Seeing how other towns have reasonable(note: "reasonable") management plans utilizing various tactics I thought they might be interested in the "kill, kill again and kill some more" method proposed by the City and DOW. I am not a PETA member and I generally do not approve of how they conduct themselves nor do I believe believe in their master plan, they are however pretty good at getting people to stop abusing and killing unreasonably. Please read my post above this one, after some research I have a different outlook, I have not however changed the way I feel about this plan. Thanks.

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Nadja Rider 4 years, 1 month ago

David, I own and operate the BigGameHunt.net web site and am well aware of the deer problems in other communities (out east even in the cities) for many years. We have reported on the methods of management that you outlined for a very long time. Some methods are reasonable, but many are not, and very expensive. However we do not want our population of deer to reach the level of disease and overpopulation that has overwhelmed so many communities, so I do believe some level of management needs to be instituted before it is out of control.

Fortunately, mule deer are a more timid species than whitetail and they are not quite as prolific in reproducing, so they most likely will not become quite as big a problem as whitetail do.

I hope the city of Craig and the DOW can come up with a plan to curb the deer population. Simply allowing the deer to "be" is not a solution.

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