Craig City Council member Byron Willems listens Tuesday at Craig City Hall to other council members discuss the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s options for addressing deer inside city limits. Although the council did not vote on the issue, a small committee of residents and council members will be formed to discuss two of the three DOW options. The council reached general agreement that allowing marksmen to shoot deer in the city at night was not worth further consideration.

Photo by Brian Smith

Craig City Council member Byron Willems listens Tuesday at Craig City Hall to other council members discuss the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s options for addressing deer inside city limits. Although the council did not vote on the issue, a small committee of residents and council members will be formed to discuss two of the three DOW options. The council reached general agreement that allowing marksmen to shoot deer in the city at night was not worth further consideration.

Craig to establish deer committee

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Craig Mayor Don Jones listens to members of the Craig City Council during a discussion Tuesday about how the city should address deer in the city. Public comment was limited during the meeting, but several residents interjected during the discussion.

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Craig City Council member Terry Carwile expresses his opinion about how the city should address deer in Craig. There was standing room only in the council’s chamber during the discussion, but the council took no formal action on the issue.

Also at the meeting

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Craig City Council:

• Approved, 7-0, Oct. 26 meeting minutes.

• Approved, 7-0, October bills totaling $739,273.65.

• Approved, 7-0, renewal of the 3.2-percent beer retail liquor license for Safeway Store No. 635 at 1295 W. Victory Way. No cause was shown for denial.

• Approved, 7-0, renewal of the retail liquor store license for Elk Liquor Store, Inc., at 1111 W. Victory Way. No cause was shown for denial.

• Approved, 7-0, renewal of the retail liquor store license for Dark Horse Liquor at 1520 W. Victory Way. No cause was shown for denial.

• Approved, 7-0, a special events liquor license for the Boys & Girls Club of Craig at 1324 E. Victory Way for Cowboy Christmas on Dec. 4.

• Approved, 7-0, a special events liquor license for the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 for the Tri-State Christmas dinner Dec. 18 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion at 750 E. Fourth St.

• Approved, 7-0, ordinance No. 1009 to adopt the 2011 budget and set appropriations for the revenues and expenditures and making and fixing the amount of property tax levies for the city. First reading.

• Introduced ordinance No. 1010 amending Chapter 6.40 of the Craig municipal code on the care and treatment of animals to prohibit the feeding of deer and other big game animals.

• Approved, 7-0, ordinance No. 1011 waiving the municipal court clerk performance bond pursuant to Colorado Revised Statutes 13-10-109 (4). First reading.

• Approved, 7-0, to enter into executive session to discuss the Craig Police Department’s lease of the Moffat County Public Safety Center and to conference with city attorney Kenny Wohl.

• Heard an October report from the Craig Police Department.

A line formed out of the Craig City Council chambers Tuesday night with residents eager to hear how the council and Mayor Don Jones would move forward with a plan to remove deer inside city limits.

After about 45 minutes of discussion, the city council agreed more discussion was needed before moving forward with one or more of the options presented by the Colorado Division of Wildlife for dealing with deer in the city.

Although no vote was taken, the council reached general agreement that both the archery hunting area and season outside of city limits and allowing the DOW to trap and kill problem deer in conflict areas with property owner consent were worth additional consideration.

The council also expressed disinterest with pursuing an option to allow marksmen into the city at night to kill portions of the deer.

The council decided to set up a small committee of city council members and four Craig residents to address the problem.

Jones said he wanted two residents from each side of the deer debate to sit on the committee.

Although the council discussed the matter at length, the shoulder-to-shoulder audience was, for the most part, not given time to address the council.

A few residents interjected during the council’s discussion of the issue, however.

The mayor explained his decision to limit public feedback during the meeting.

“I don’t know anything else you can tell us that we haven’t already heard,” Jones said to the audience. “I guess I don’t want to sit up here and have an argument (of), ‘Leave the deer alone, no we need to do something with the deer’ back and forth. That doesn’t (do us) any good.”

Jones said there are many residents who want something done about Craig’s deer.

“I believe … we need to thin the deer out,” he said. “We have got too many. There are some aggressive ones, there’s some very sick ones … and we need to keep the herd healthy. That’s what needs to be done, not exterminate the whole herd.”

Council member Byron Willems said the reason the council should address the deer situation is due to residents’ safety. He said many of the deer have “lost their fear of people.”

“What makes this unique and what makes this a problem is that we have generations of domestic deer in town,” he said. “They … have an unlimited food supply, they have no natural predators in town and they no longer have that flight sense that Mother Nature gave them when they come into contact with humans.”

Council member Gene Bilodeau said the only options presented by the DOW he liked were the archery hunting season and area outside city limits, and trapping the deer on a “case by case” basis.

Moreover, Bilodeau said there is a “bigger problem with barking dogs than deer” in the city.

“I do think the intent of working with (the DOW) is in the city’s best interest,” he said. “I think the way that we would do that is part of what is on the agenda tonight to beef up our ordinance … (to have) a hefty enough fine for people that choose to break the law by feeding wildlife.”

Council member Joe Herod said he thinks the DOW needs to “step up” and take care of the problem or give the city more direction on the issue.

“We are trying to run a city,” he said. “We are trying to do infrastructure and roads and stuff and all of a sudden now we’ve got to figure out how to kill some deer. It’s their (the DOW’s) deer.”

Council member Jennifer Riley agreed there are sick and crippled deer that need to be euthanized and the city does have aggressive deer, but she took issue with some of the DOW’s options.

“I didn’t like the options that were presented to us,” she said. “At least options two and three — trapping the deer and then taking them out and euthanizing them and certainly not bringing in people (to shoot them) to the tune of, I think $18,000 is what they said that our tax payers would have to pay for.”

Comments

Becky Plummer 3 years, 5 months ago

What happened to the money for DOW to do the things they want to NOT COMING OUT OF TAXPAYERS POCKETS?????????

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David Moore 3 years, 5 months ago

Wise choice, you tested the rock with both feet, fell in and got all wet. Now lets proceed by testing the next rock with one foot before commiting. Why didn't they just do this in the first place?

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justthefacts 3 years, 5 months ago

Fact:

From The Craig Bible Daily Revised Edition: The Book of Facts, Chapter 2, verse2:

And the Craig City Council said " O ye of little faith we are here to serve and protect the people". The people rejoiced.

  1. Then the Council declared " We have heard your pleas and don't care to hear any more blasphemy, we shall do what was foreordained".

  2. The Mayor slept.

5 A comittee shall be formed, consisting of believers and nonbelievers to choose the fate of the deer, for we fear the plague that cursed the democrats a fortnight ago will befall us should this decision be rendered by the almighty.

4 And from the top of the rock it was proclamed; "Volunteers needed."!!!!

5 Then those that worship Idols and demons declared "We shall go beyond the almighty to the fixer of all things, the Chairman of the County Commissioners"!!!!

6 Behold, a miraculous revelation occured, the Commissioners had a vision that the City actually resides in the County.

  1. The deer's fate to roam the wilderness for forty years with only the manna sent from the almighty was at hand. ( To be continued.......)
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GreyStone 3 years, 5 months ago

Today's news “Craig to establish deer committee”

What about establishing a cat, dog & trash committee?? Work on some of the more pressing situations first.

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grumpy 3 years, 5 months ago

When we open season on the deer, lets get the loose dogs and cats too.

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trout2k 3 years, 5 months ago

I will keep shooting my bow so I'm sharp and ready when invited to thin the herd. Wrapping paper and tape are also ready. Thinning-- not eliminating the herd--seems like the best option.

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GreyStone 3 years, 5 months ago

Also looking forward to the big Dog & cat thinning shoot… shotguns or bows and arrows? How do you skin a cat?

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greenie52 3 years, 5 months ago

I got slammed by a lady on here the other day for my comment of ( forget about the deer , get rid of the city council ) and she ripped me because of the tough decisions this city council has to make on issues. Well there you go. a bunch of people show up and they form a committee, hmmmmm, what a cop out , all these people show up and they tuck and run. Thats a good council and mayor. So to anyone you gets in a tough situation , form a committe.

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trout2k 3 years, 5 months ago

You skin a cat the same way as a deer...tastes like chicken. I would recommend a bow and arrow over the shot gun though......those lead pellets can really cause some dental problems.

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GreyStone 3 years, 5 months ago

(From Kingman , KS) “I live in a semi rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the local township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER CROSSING sign on our road. The reason: 'Too many deer are being hit by cars out here! I don't think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.”

Wonder if anyone on the Craig city council bothered to check for any of these DEER signs on the outskirts of Craig? You never know…

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firstofthefallen 3 years, 5 months ago

Through all this debating and committee forming has anyone thought about asking the local deer population what their opinion is? We should truly have all sides represented in such an important issue.

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