Bill Snare: deer good for tourism
November 26, 2010
To the editor:
This is regarding the problem of deer within city limits.
After decades of living amongst deer, I have never been attacked by one. In these decades, I have also had the opportunity to observe the behavior of the human species.
I have found a portion of our species to be cowards for being scared of anything that moves. I have seen them shake at the sight of animals.
Let me share a similar story of unwanted animals in a city.
This took place 50 years ago in Cripple Creek. The culprits were wild donkeys. They were released to the wild by miners who no longer needed them sometime in the early 1900s. They learned to fend for themselves and multiply. They found the city to be their best bet for survival because there was always a helpful handout by some retired miner or an occasional tourist.
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In the late 1950s and early 1960s, new faces appeared in the city. These people moved in from other areas, mostly retired folks who bought property in Cripple Creek because it was cheap.
They used these homes for summer residences and moved away for the winter. These people hated wild donkeys because they ate their tulips and left piles of mess before moving to the next yard. These people began to complain. They demanded the city council take action and haul off the donkeys. The council was caught in the middle of new grumblers and natives.
The final decision by the council was based on the old state fencing law — if you don't want them in your yard, fence it.
The squeaky wheels shut up and the donkeys remain.
The city uses the donkeys to boost its economy. Every year, they have what is known as donkey derby days.
Thousands come. Cripple Creek has used wild donkeys to its advantage. Craig can do the same with deer.
Have you noticed all the hunters taking pictures of these city deer? Where do you suppose the pictures go? They go all over the nation and beyond. Many travelers will come to Craig just to see a city deer. What better way to attract a tourist to Craig?
There are cities that condone elk, moose and even polar bears. Is it too much to ask to do the same for deer?
Craig and Moffat County boasts of being the hunting capital of Colorado. Our city is being watched in regards to how we handle this problem. Are we going to send a message that we don't want the deer?
I hope not.
I am going back to Cripple Creek next year and I'm going to find a small band of wild donkeys. I will pull over, roll down my window and when one of the donkeys sticks his head inside for a potato chip, my wife will take a picture.
Do you know where the picture will go? Right back here to Craig, where it will be shown to family and friends.
I have an idea many of them will plan a trip to Cripple Creek.