Letter: ‘We have created a deer paradise in Ashland’

A doe and two fawns graze near Palmer Road in Ashland in July. Ashland.news photo by Holly Dillemuth
July 27, 2022

I am one of those who reported aggressive deer. The deer are everywhere in this neighborhood. I see several every day when I walk my dog and they camp out by my front door. One stalked me down the alley and continued to follow me down the street; if it was protecting its young, we were far from the nest by then.

Another became aggressive and reared back, kicking with its front paws. I did everything the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) recommends: my dog was on a leash, I made loud noises, I walked away briskly.

These days every time I turn a corner I worry. I always scan the area to be sure I haven’t accidentally “cornered” a deer.  It won’t be long until someone gets hurt.

ODFW says the deer are part of our natural environment and we should learn to live in harmony with them. But they aren’t wild deer, they are thoroughly urban. They are born, live and die in the city.  By the second or third generation, they have become so domesticated that they aren’t willing to put up with us pesky humans in their sacred habitat.

The bears are wild, and we do coexist well with them. The bears don’t live here; they come to town at night for yummy nibbles, but they live in the forest.  

We have created a deer paradise in Ashland. Their density in the city is far greater than it would be in the forest. They have food and protection here and their numbers continue increasing.

Let’s apply the fish conservation and restoration model. ODFW should have a deer roundup and relocate them into the backcountry. New deer coming to town from the forest will be wild, cautious and not a threat to us. WIth regular roundups to manage the deer population they can once again live in harmony with us pesky humans in our sacred habitat.

Dan Belenky


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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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