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Craig City Council pauses on deer issue

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  • pat scala
    By Brian Smith   Craig City Council member Terry Carwile thinks this is a “wait and see” time for the council concerning the city’s deer population.
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 29, 2010
      By Brian Smith
      Craig City Council member Terry Carwile thinks this is a “wait and see” time for
      the council concerning the city’s deer population.
      After receiving a letter written by the Colorado Division of Wildlife in
      response to Craig Mayor Don Jones, Carwile thinks it would be wise for the
      council to pause its activities concerning management of the city’s deer
      population to see if the organization would follow through with the message of
      the letter.
      The response letter, sent to Jones in early December, stated the DOW “remains
      willing” to respond to the sick, injured and aggressive deer in the city.
      “Our officers are trained to take quick, effective action to protect public
      health and safety,” DOW Northwest Regional Manager Ron Velarde wrote in the
      letter. “This has been part of our wildlife officers’ core responsibilities for
      many years and will continue to be in the future.”
      Carwile said the city council needs to “encourage the public, really those who
      are having a problem, to step forward, call and let’s just see how the division
      Jones agreed with Carwile, adding there would likely not be a hunting season or
      mass trapping, relocating or killing of the deer.

      He hopes a newly passed ordinance prohibiting the feeding of deer and other big
      game in city limits and increased awareness of the DOW’s ability to deal with
      aggressive deer on a case-by-case basis will help curb issues.
      “That’s the best way to do it,” he said. “They’re the keepers of the wild
      Jones acknowledged some criticism has been placed on the DOW for response times.
      He remains unsure if continuing to work with the DOW will help reduce that
      response time.
      “Until we start getting calls … who knows?” he said.
      Jones said he was pleased, however, that the DOW offered to host educational
      meetings and other outreach strategies to understand deer conflicts and
      hopefully prevent them.
      “Anytime we can get education, (that’s) perfect,” he said. “I know that the
      division has volunteered to help us do that. They have done that through some
      brochures they have already given us.”
      However, Jones was unsure if free educational classes, like those previously
      hosted, would attract residents.
      “Four years ago when we did this, we gave four or five classes on what to plant,
      what not to plant, what kind of sprays are out there, and I think the most they
      had in one class was 10 people,” he said.
      When asked if residents might be more prompted to attend such educational
      meetings considering the recent public debate about the deer, the mayor remained
      “No — that is just my gut feeling,” he said.
      But, Jones said “it is worth another try.”
      The council, Jones said, was hoping the DOW would agree to transplant a large
      number of deer from the city to another location. However, the DOW stated it
      would not be “humane or cost-effective.”
      “We (were) hoping they would back down from their statement and they didn’t,”
      Jones said. “(They said), ‘We will not transplant any animals. We will kill
      Jones was hoping the amount of public outcry about the issue would sway the DOW
      on relocating the animals.
      “(Relocation) is not in their policy and we were hoping that would change with
      the letters, because I know they got as many letters as we did and they read the
      paper and stuff and they didn’t budge off their policy,” he said. “So, they are
      the biologists, they are the people that have the know-how, not city council.
      So, we’ve got to look to them to know what we are talking about.
      “If you agree or disagree, they are still the experts.”
      Jones said he doesn’t foresee any more action from the council about the matter,
      other than maybe the educational sessions.
      “If people start calling saying, ‘Look, I called the DOW and it took them two
      days to get here and when they got here they didn’t do anything,’ then we need
      to go back and (ask) what happened or why?” he said. “I guess we need to test
      their policy.”

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