Flush out the shooter - Coeur d'Alene Press: Editorial

Flush out the shooter

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Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:40 am, Wed Feb 20, 2013.

The Great Dalton Gardens Deer Debate has taken a fatal twist, as someone has been shooting the creatures within city limits and leaving the carcasses where they fall.

Not everybody is sympathetic to Bambi's plight, as expressed by a letter to the editor today and numerous comments on cdapress.com. Frustration with deer infringing upon the hard work and aesthetic pleasures of human inhabitants is boiling over, and someone out there, maybe more than one, has taken matters into his or her own hands.

But in this case, that person is breaking two laws; hunting deer out of season and discharging a weapon within city limits. Poaching is a serious enough offense, but of much greater concern is the sniper's willingness to endanger life of the two-legged variety.

Fish and Game officials believe at least two separate shootings have occurred at night or in the very early morning hours. All the deer - eight, as of this writing - were killed by a small-caliber weapon. Three of the deer were does carrying fawns.

For years, Dalton Gardens residents and officials have struggled to find ways to keep deer and human habitat respectfully separate. In 2011, a proposal was floated to allow hunting within city limits to thin out the deer population, but that was quickly and wisely rejected.

There are better ways to address this, individually and governmentally. Residents can purchase deer repellent products or fencing. Dalton Gardens officials can step up their education campaign and perhaps coordinate efforts with property owners on fencing.

The last thing our community needs is a vigilante emboldened by any form of perceived public support. This person is not a hero; he or she is a menace with impaired judgment who should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

If you have any information that would be helpful in solving these crimes, please call Fish and Game at (208) 769-1414; or, the Citizens Against Poaching (CAP) hotline at (800) 632-5999.

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  • kimknerl posted at 4:04 pm on Thu, Feb 21, 2013.

    kimknerl Posts: 286

    Let's pave everything over and kill all the wildlife so we can have a lawn where the only thing that lives is the non-native grasses and flowers.

  • lisanelson78 posted at 5:49 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    lisanelson78 Posts: 4

    Just counted 8 deer out on the back two acres tonight on my evening walk with my dogs. Two almost got hit by a car crossing the road. I guess it's better than 16

  • lisanelson78 posted at 5:17 pm on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    lisanelson78 Posts: 4

    I totally agree dasher! I could talk till I'm blue in the face on this hot topic but it seems when it falls on deaf government ears it becomes pointless. I don't agree at all with this shooter leaving these animals for dead, but I completely support whoever it is in the fact that they're taking the law into their own hands because trying to bring up the issue with local and federal government is pointless and has already proven numerous times to solve nothing. Maybe the fact someone out there is going to illegal extremes will finally give this story enough attention the government may take our previous advice seriously. In past meetings with Dalton City Hall concerned citizens proposed a controlled hunt or that fish and game relocate them and were shot down on both saying they don't have the funding or resources to come relocate them and a controlled hunt wouldn't work because it's residential. What about a controlled bowhunt? Last I checked that's not going to hit a neighbor. Hey I have another idea..give concerned land owners the option to volunteer for fish and game and we can help in any way they deem legal and fair. I know myself and many others would probably be willing, but I bet they won't do that either though because too many people think they're cute and feed them. As for they were here first...somewhat yes, but my parents have lived in this area for 90 years and on this property for 46 years. The deer were not here first as so many of these bleeding hearts claim. They were here yes, in quantities of one or two here and there. They were not here in quantities of 26 at once like we counted on the back two acres a year or so ago. The FACT of the matter is this is a GROWING problem and because local and federal government will do nothing or even acknowledge it's a problem that something needs to be done about it is forcing whoever this person is to protect their property on their own. As for the whining about the concern for safety of humans...it obviously looks like this person is a good enough aim they're getting deer not humans, and they're also doing it in hours where very few humans would be out and about anyhow according to things I've read or seen on tv. Seems fairly responsible to me. Now if only we could process the meat and give it to the Food Bank instead of be required by law to leave them for dead we'd all have a win win if you ask me.

  • dasher posted at 10:59 am on Wed, Feb 20, 2013.

    dasher Posts: 160

    I would personally like to shake the guys hand that is doing the killing. Also, I wouldn't call it "hunting" when the "rats" will practically eat out of your hand. I know, I know...it isn't the deers fault, we have taken away so much of their grazing space and all that, but when people feed them, and encourage them to live among us, something bad is bond to happen.
    I have a family of at least five that are in my yard darn near every night. My choice in plants has been made to be deer resistant and I use deer spray. It doesn't do a thing. Deer will eat anything when hungry enough.The city won't let me fence my yard in, so how do I get rid of them? I live just south of Dalton so when is the city of Coeur d'Alene going to do something about them? This isn't just a Dalton issue, or a Hayden issue.
    Fish and Game needs to trap these critters, move them back into the wild and cut down on their numbers. The local hunters keep complaining that there is less animals in the wild...well it's because they all lmoved in to North CDA!

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