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Feeding deer within 50 feet of a road in the city of Cottonwood Shores is now prohibited. The City Council approved an ordinance outlawing feeding wildlife near roads during its regular meeting Thursday, Sept. 16. The new ordinance also bans electronic feeders. Those who want to feed deer must do so by hand and be at least 50 feet from a road. 

City leaders approved the ordinance for public safety reasons, including that feeding deer attracts predators to an area. Residents have reported seeing and hearing cougars and coyotes in the city. 

“When people feed deer from the front or back porch, they’re attracting those predators,” City Administrator J.C. Hughes said. “(The feeders) are attracting animals you don’t want in your backyards.”

Since the city can’t control the predators, they are targeting the prey, Mayor Don Orr said. 

“What we’re trying to do is keep the deer away from the houses,” he said. “When that cougar goes hunting, I’d rather they go to the woods than somebody’s front yard. We want to push them away from the houses. That’s the objective in my mind.”

Feeding deer near roads can endanger the animals as well as drivers, another reason the city banned electronic feeders.

“We’re seeing more and more deer (on the roads),” Councilor Michael Hibdon said.

IN OTHER NEWS

Hughes told the council that a pile of wood and brush near the city’s skate park received approval for burning from the Texas Historical Society, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, and homeowners in the area. He asked the Cottonwood Shores Volunteer Fire Department to burn the pile. Firefighters typically use this as a training exercise and will set a date for the burning in the near future. 

Also, the Parks Committee is hosting another cleanup of FM 2147 as part of its commitment to the Adopt-A-Highway program under Keep Texas Beautiful. Volunteers will meet at 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 18, at the old police station on the corner of Cottonwood Drive and Pecan Lane.

jfierro@thepicayune.com