Deer too close for comfort

This deer often can be spotted lounging comfortably in a backyard on the 100 block of State Ave.

ALAMOSA — A 56-year-old Franktown man was gored by a deer and received medical treatment at a hospital Nov. 13.

Exactly one week before the Franktown attack, Alex and Karen Miller, from Wildwood Place, which is part of the Riverwood subdivision, brought a very similar issue before the Nov. 6 Alamosa City Council meeting.

The Millers have resided at Wildwood Place for close to a decade.

“In the past eight years, we’ve seen a vast progression of the deep population, and along with that vast progression of the deer population, we’ve seen the same level of the deer problems and issues,” Alex Miller said. “We’ve had four separate occasions when deer have reared up on me and my wife.

“There have been countless times where deer have charged us, our family members or our pets.”

When the Millers are not being 

assaulted, then their pets and property are subject to the same kind of abuse.

“Deer have physically attacked our pets on six occasions and three of these have resulted in vet visits, which totaled over $1,100,” Alex Miller said. “A deer ran through our front window and broke it and that totaled over $1,300.

He added: “Every summer, we purchase decorative plants and flowers in front our property … that cost up to $300 or $400 a year.

“We’ve sprayed additional deer repellent on these deer-proof plant and flowers and they still get eaten every year.”

Alex Miller said he put deer fence around his trees, hoping that it will protect them.

“The bucks get fighting,” he added. “They get their horns on the fencing. So, we’re replacing them almost annually.

“In the winter, the deer will come and dig divots into our lawn and I’m repairing our lawn in             the spring.”

City Manager Heather Brooks said it is hard to hear those stories.

“If I can get your notes that would be great,” said Brooks in reference to Millers’ long list of unpleasant deer encounters. “We have been collecting information officially from our police when we get calls when there are accidents caused by human interaction with deer.”

There are two different ideological camps among the populace concerning Alamosa’s deer population.

“It’s a sensitive topic for our community,” Brooks said. “There are those that are very passionate about protecting the deer and than there are those that are experiencing what you are experiencing and then there are car accidents.

“The problem is that there are no natural predators, and it’s something that we, as a staff, have been researching (on) what we can do to control the population.”

Brooks added: “We’re working on a plan with the Department of Wildlife. …”

Brooks said some of the solutions have been cancelled out because the Department of Wildlife have said they’re not effective or because they’re too expensive and not effective at the same time.

“We’re working on drafting a deer management plan, that with the Department of Wildlife, we will probably need to get permission from the state, parks and wildlife board,” Brooks said. “And so, we’re not quite sure, so it is something we realized even though it’s a bit divisive for our community, it is something that we need to come up with a plan, so part of that plan will include why we may need to take steps to handle that population from a disease perspective and the damage to property and the potential harm when there is interaction with pets and humans, so it’s not a fun thing to talk about because we have passionate people on both sides, but it’s something we need to get under control.”

City Council member Kristina Daniel said she was born and raised in Alamosa.

“And to say the deer were here first is not true,” she added. “I lived on Lambert Drive.

“It bordered Carroll Park and growing up we played out by the Riverwood subdivision, which is (near) Carroll’s woods and we did not see deer.

“We never had to worry about deer attacking small children or dogs or anybody that was out walking.

“And that’s a big worry, now.

“They are going to hurt somebody.”

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