Ashland, Oregon residents have organized a town hall meeting to address their aggressive deer problem.
The citizens of Ashland, Oregon are being terrorized by a large population of resident deer, according to reports. The problem has garnered the attention of local officials, as citizens who have felt threatened and traumatized by the deer are calling for the organization of a task force by the city to address the issue.
The city organized a town hall meeting to give members of the community a chance to explain their experiences of being harassed by these animals.
“I think it’s a problem,” said Ashland Mayor John Stromberg, “and that’s why I’m doing this.”
The growing population of deer within the city is partially due to some residents welcoming them with food, whether it be directly feeding the deer or indirectly providing food sources like watered lawns during the heat of summer.
“Over the decades, people have not put the fear into the deer,” said Mark Vargas, a wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
“When deer don’t fear people, they come closer and don’t look at them as a threat.”
Vargas says that birth control would be absolutely impossible in a place like Ashland, and that an organized cull would require killing 40 to 60 deer a year, something that’s unlikely to gain political support from city leaders or bureaucratic approval from the state.
“Are you serious?” said Stromberg, the mayor, when asked about an organized kill. “Have you ever been to Ashland?”
The mayor also claims to have been stalked in his backyard by a deer himself. Fines reaching $475 for feeding deer had been approved by the City Council several years prior.
If nothing else changes in light of the town hall discussions, the state biologist hopes Ashland residents toughen up around deer.