Lorrie Butler: Don’t laugh about deer
December 7, 2010
To the editor:
I agree the deer are beautiful graceful animals. It is something special to see a fawn with spots.
If I lived on Round Bottom, Woodbury or Craig East, I would make fun of the deer, too. I live in the old section of town and the deer seem to follow the old Craig ditch.
Contrary to some, the deer have not always been here.
Rarely did you see a deer until seven years ago. The house I live in was owned by Ella Van Tassel. Ella and Anna Salabar used to have a competition who had the prettiest flowers. Guess what? No fences nor deer. I, too, had a large garden and flowers until three years ago when the deer overtook them. I have a fenced yard. Talk to some of the old timers — no deer.
If the city counted 350 deer, that's, with single births, 500 next spring.
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I Googled deer culling. Deer culling is done across the nation for safety reasons. Craig is not unique because we have deer in town. An excellent website is Utah Division of Wildlife's and the culling program in Bountiful, Utah.
I Googled deer attacks — domesticated wild deer that are no longer afraid of humans. Child killed in Wisconsin, man killed in California, ten pages. I feel it's a matter of time before somebody is hurt or killed. I worry about the kids walking to and from Sunset Elementary. What does the city say then? How do you single out an aggressive doe with five does standing there? How do you handle it case by case? How do you prevent a child from walking up to a fawn? Or running through the park or school? Playing in their backyard? How do you keep pets safe in their backyards?
The solution isn't we need to move, get a deer-friendly dog or build a six-foot fence. Until the deer have hurt your pet or charged you, you really have no right to judge. It isn't funny, it's scary.
I Googled deer disease after I was raking the yard and found deer feces with white slimy yuk in it. Deer carry tapeworms, lungworm, botflies, parasites, lice, roundworm (can be transferred to pets), chronic wasting disease, TB, E. Coli, gardia, scabies and mange (can be transferred to hooved animals).
I'm not saying our deer have these, but can. Take a look at our herd. They are not healthy. Their hair is spotty and discolored and they have diarrhea and deformities.
Do you honestly think a diet of weed and feed, fertilizer and petunias are a good diet for deer?
Let's make the deer special again. Do your homework. What if it was your child, grandmother, pet or self being attacked?
Until you've watched these aggressive deer you shouldn't laugh. I expect to be safe in my yard or walking uptown. I expect my grandchildren to be able to walk from Sunset safely.
Do your job, city, and let the Division of Wildlife do theirs.