Kimarie Hazelbaker: Don’t kill the deer
November 2, 2010
To the editor:
I am absolutely, unequivocally opposed to killing the deer in Craig.
In fact, I have been sick since reading about the Colorado Division of Wildlife's options for "removing" the deer. It is really hard to believe that some of my Craig neighbors have so little respect for life that they can justify the killing of these beautiful animals.
Our mayor apparently jumped right on the plan to kill the deer, saying "based on the support" he will "move forward" with the plan.
The people supporting this plan (some of the 50 people at the meeting) are a tiny fraction of the population of Craig. Many of us like having the deer in town and are fundamentally, ethically and morally opposed to killing them. Aren't the mayor and the city council here to serve all of Craig, not just the few that want the deer killed?
A handful of reports of "aggressive" deer do not justify slaughtering hundreds of innocent creatures.
I am sorry that three dogs have been killed. I have also seen deer in my backyard sniffing noses with my cats, which is very cute. People need to take care to protect their children and pets just as they protect them from cars.
The deer are a fundamental part of Craig. They are very gentle creatures, becoming aggressive only if they feel threatened.
One woman said she is afraid to go into her backyard because of the "aggressive" deer that won't leave when she waves her broom at them.
I don't know why the deer in her backyard would be more aggressive than the deer in the rest of town. When I go into my backyard, the deer sometimes leave immediately and sometimes watch me very cautiously, leaving if I get too close or make too much noise.
I have had everything from tiny fawns with their mothers to a 5-point buck that have returned to my yard many times. They are almost like "my" deer now (and, no, I don't feed them). None of them have ever been at all threatening to me or my cats.
Maybe it's time to revisit the idea of birth control for the deer. If this had been implemented when first suggested, the deer population would be smaller than it is now and would continue to be reduced naturally.
In the meantime, the city could use the deer "removal" money to help fence the backyards of people who don't want the deer. A 6-foot fence around a front yard area of a property I had in the country kept the deer from eating my trees and other plants inside the fence.
If the city goes ahead with this plan, the massacre would be devastating to me and many others. I am having trouble sleeping over this as it is.
How do we explain this to our children? I think children should learn reverence for life, not that animals should be killed when they become inconvenient.
I know that I couldn't live in Craig anymore if this happens.