Tired of your flower garden being grazed like an all-you-can-eat buffet?
Or dodging deer in traffic? Or perhaps your dog’s incessant barking at a deer leisurely munching the Granny Smith’s off the apple tree in the front yard?
The Oregon Legislature passed SB 373 last year, which called for the development of a pilot program to allow cities to reduce deer populations in areas where high densities of deer are causing damage, health and safety concerns.
And now, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission has outlined the rules for a pilot program allowing cities to let people kill the deer.
The decision comes on the heels — or hooves — of legislation approved in October that allows drivers to take the meat of deer or elk they strike and kill when driving. Those who opt to do so must take home the carcass of their meals under wheels animal and obtain a permit from the ODFW within 24 hours.
The commission unveiled the latest idea in Salem last week, but it doesn’t mean it will soon be open season on neighborhood deer.
“I doubt it,” said Mayor Jake Pieper. “I know they’re a nuisance — some more than others — but I don’t think they’re enough of a nuisance to thin the herd.”
He said he’s heard anecdotally that there are more deer roaming the city than are in the wilderness, particularly since much was lost in wildfires the past two summers.
“When you go hunting, you pass a baker’s dozen deer in town just to get in the woods and not see any,” he said. “But If (the issue) comes up — maybe I’m wrong — we’ll do the normal process and hear from folks.”
Before joining the pilot program, city leaders must approve an ordinance that forbids residents from feeding deer.
Then, they must gauge how much support such an idea has in town. After joining the program, the city can decide how the deer will be killed — and who will do the killing. In Brookings, guns cannot be discharged within city limits. Chemicals, including tranquilizers and poison, will not be permitted. If traps are used, the proposal reads, deer must be killed on the spot.
That leaves guns — which in turn, would likely require police to euthanize neighborhood deer.
In all cases, the meat must be harvested and donated to a charity.