Granite Shoals seeks harmonious solution to deer population in city
JENNIFER FIERRO • PICAYUNE STAFF
GRANITE SHOALS — Living in harmony with deer is the reason for a town meeting May 2 hosted by the city of Granite Shoals and its wildlife advisory committee.
The event is 9-11 a.m. at the Granite Shoals Fire Department, 8410 RR 1431 West. The guest speakers will be members of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
City secretary Elaine Simpson said committee members and city leaders agree that taking care of both human and deer residents is the priority.
“They don’t want the health of either one to be compromised,” she said. “Just passing an ordinance of not feeding the deer is not a silver bullet (to address the concern).”
TPWD staff will give a presentation to help identify what residents want to do about managing the deer and some steps on how to get there. There will be video monitors and audio equipment to make it easier for attendees to follow along, Simpson said.
“The point of the meeting is deer management and what it means,” she said. “There’s been no decision on deer control. There are different ways urban deer can be managed.”
TPWD will show the difference between a biologically overpopulated deer area and a socially overpopulated one.
Biologically overpopulated means there’s simply not enough food for deer to eat, so people see deer that are too thin and have a high mortality rate.
Socially overpopulated means the deer are easily finding food with an abundance that goes beyond deer feeders, Simpson said.
One of their favorite places are undeveloped lots with lots of undergrowth, which provide food and hiding places, she said.
TPWD will help the city conclude if it is biologically or socially overpopulated, the secretary said.
“There’s no proposal on the table to do X, Y and Z for control of the deer,” she said. “We’re going to let biologists explain what our options are.”
The city’s wildlife advisory committee was formed in June 2014. The first step was sending out a survey earlier this year to poll residents on what they want to do about deer.
The town hall meeting is the second step, Simpson said.
“I know people have feelings,” she said. “I hope people will bring concerns and questions and be open to options and different things because nobody wants to hurt the deer, nobody wants to eliminate the deer.”
Go to graniteshoals.org for more information.