Letter At Length, July 6

Deer attacks in city no laughing matter

While your front page article regarding the deer attack in Ashland is timely it is also a little too nonchalant from my perspective.

Last summer my dog was attacked by a deer while I was walking my dog near my house, which is one block from Briscoe School and one block up from Siskiyou Boulevard. When the deer started to approach us I turned around and began to walk away. It pursued us and when my dog barked the deer reared up and stomped on her. Fortunately nobody was hurt.

This year I have had one deer start after us while walking about two blocks from my house and I also had a deer in my yard threatening my dogs. I have called the police twice and I really didn't think it was too funny when the dispatcher started to laugh the first time I called. I have also talked with a state biologist about the attacks.

In your article the biologist that was interviewed stated that their office received 15 to 20 calls a year about deer attacks and I can assure you this is only a fraction of the incidents that occur. I say this because almost everybody I know that has a dog has either been threatened or attacked by a deer in the last two years. This is no exaggeration. I know of one dog that was killed and another that required a trip to the vet for stitches.

The state biologist stated that an incident in Cave Junction two weeks ago was the first reported to their office this year but I know that is incorrect; I called them a couple of weeks ago when the deer came after me and my dog while walking, and I told him of two recent attacks involving friends walking their dogs. I don't believe anybody I know has contacted the police regarding a deer attack, so this thing is being highly under-reported.

It is easy to suggest that dog owners avoid walking their dogs in areas with deer, but I would like to ask: Where that may be? The attack reported in your newspaper occurred near the Post Office ... downtown! My dog was attacked one block from my house, not walking in the woods, and I had a deer threatening my dogs in my yard. It is not inconceivable that somebody will eventually be seriously hurt.

The bottom line is that we have been overrun by deer. I am willing to concede the ability to have a vegetable garden but I am not willing to concede my safety or the safety of my pets. A while ago I read an article in which a town that had a deer infestation started a program using birth control darts. I am going to submit a copy of this letter to our City Council members in the hopes that they might consider a similar program, and I would encourage anybody that has experienced a problem with a deer to contact the police.

Doug MacDonell


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