Garden Ridge says they have too many deer

SAN ANTONIO -- We all know that deer and cars don't mix, and we are approaching that time of the year where accidents caused by wandering deer are at their highest.

One town is more concerned than many due to an abnormally high deer population.

"It bolted out right in front of me and did some pretty serious damage to my car," said Chris Sitter, a Garden Ridge resident. "There's a lot. You just have to watch yourself when you are on the roads."

The deer did $3,000 to $4,000 worth of damage to his car.

"There is going to be a human fatality. A deer is going to come through a windshield. It's amazing it hasn't happened yet but with that many car/deer interactions, at some point there is going to be a human fatality," Garden Ridge City Councilman Todd Arvidson said.

Councilman Arvidson noted that's one reason the City of Garden Ridge is moving to euthanize some of the deer as they have done in years past. But that's not the only reason.

"You get chronic wasting disease into your deer herd," he said. "It's basically fatal for the deer herd. Most of the deer that were trapped last year were heavily infested with fleas and ticks."

Those ticks can lead to Lyme disease and spread to humans.

Right now there are about 3,000 deer in Garden Ridge, about one deer per acre. And city officials say that's about five times as many deer as they want to keep the community safe.

That number is also more than what Texas Parks and Wildlife says is ideal.

"They would prefer it to be one in ten so they don't eat the way out of their habitat, they don't destroy your bushes or flowers, get hit by cars, all those sorts of things," Councilman Arvidson said.

Last year, the city euthanized 131 deer, but don't think they went to waste.

"They were processed into ground round and we donated just short of 4,000 pounds of meat to the food shelters," Arvidson noted.

That's 16,000 meals, and Its all in an effort to keep Garden Ridge residents safe.

(© 2016 KENS)


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