JENNIFER FIERRO • STAFF WRITER
GRANITE SHOALS — Granite Shoals residents are no longer allowed to feed deer after the city council adopted an ordinance prohibiting such activity during its meeting July 12.
Residents have until Sept. 12 to get used to the new rule. After the grace period, the city will begin issuing citations. The first offense will be a warning; a second offense in a 12-month period results in a $50 fine; third, fourth and fifth offenses during that period will each be a $200 fine; and a sixth offense results in a $1,000 fine.
City Manager Ken Nickel said city staff recommended the ordinance after being advised on the deer situation by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
The reason for the ordinance comes down to the health of the animal and the herd, Nickel said.
Deer can carry diseases they can then pass on to each other at feeding bins. And since wildlife experts have been studying the deer, they can see how animals are being affected because of this type of feeding practice.
“When they feed as a group, they’re passing ticks from one to the other,” the city manager said. “That’s causing some problems.”
He emphasized this is not to eliminate the deer; rather it’s to get the deer back to being healthy.
Nickel added that deer corn and similar food is not nutritious for the animal.
“Deer eating corn is like people eating candy,” he said.
Go to graniteshoals.org for more information.