Thursday, February 22, 2024

Government not needed to deal with deer

by ANDY SMITH/Guest Opinion
| May 4, 2021 1:00 AM

It is clear that there are as many different views of the deer as there are residents of Dalton Gardens. Some residents say there were never deer in Dalton 40 years ago and others say they have always been here and they have lived here for 60 plus years. Some say the quantity has dramatically increased, while others say new homes with fences have concentrated the deer to more visible paths. Clearly many enjoy the deer and it is part of the rural lifestyle that they appreciate about Dalton Gardens as well as many are frustrated about the deer.

Before my wife and I purchased a home in Dalton Gardens 24 years ago, I went to City Hall and requested information on the ordinances of Dalton Gardens so that I would be informed as to the laws of the city I was intending to move to. In talking with the city clerk that day, she went out of her way to tell me that …

“We have deer in Dalton Gardens! If you expect to have a garden, you have to put up at least a 6-foot fence to keep them out. Don’t come to City Hall and complain about the deer!”

Clearly there were deer in Dalton 24 years ago.

We moved forward and purchased a home. We promptly installed a 6-foot fence to keep the deer out so we could have a garden but also to keep our children and dog safe and contained on our property. In 24 years, we have NEVER had a deer in our backyard.

We live in an area that is rich with wildlife, abundant scenery and beauty. We live in an area where we demand less government, less regulation and more freedom. We don’t want the government to fix every problem that life brings.

We expect our neighbors and community members to be personally responsible and to only seek relief from the government for issues beyond the individual's ability to handle.

Mayor and council, the solution is simple. Each property owner who has a problem with the deer on their property needs to accept the fact that they live in a rural environment and they need to take safe and reasonable measures on their own property to protect it without compromising the safety on their neighbors. Deer in your yard is not beyond your ability to resolve responsibly and safely within the laws already on the books.

As you drive around this awesome city, you see many gardens and yards fenced. Some of the fencing is barely visible and quite inexpensive. I use blood and bone meal on my plants in the front yard and it keeps the deer away and doesn’t smell up the yard. It is also quite inexpensive to purchase. Online I find other inexpensive remedies.

I acknowledge that some residents of Dalton Gardens have more issue with the deer than others but this simply is not an issue that rises to a level that we need the government to fix for us. As the city clerk said from years ago — we have deer here, build a fence.

Andy Smith is a Dalton Gardens resident.