Saratoga residents divided over deer problem


"This is all chewed up. That's all deer... that's been chewed up. The bud on this has been removed," says resident Mike Coleman.

Coleman has lived in the Saratoga Oaks neighborhood for 20 years and he doesn't like what's been happening to the plants and flowers recently.

Dozens of deer are eating their way through the development. A large fence keeps some deer out of the neighborhood, but it doesn't surround all 12 acres of the subdivision.

Many home owners have taken matters into their own hands and put up private fences, some are even electric. And others have gone so far as to buy cat urine to sprinkle on plants to protect them.

"I've tried everything, clapping, making noise, squirting them with a hose," says Coleman.

And then Coleman bought a slingshot that came with plastic pellets. After mike fired a few at a herd, neighbors called police and Saratoga Oaks became divided.

"I think it ought to be fair game, use something that'll scare them, something that'll get their attention," says resident Bob Kibort.

"I think we moved into their territory and I think they've been very friendly with us," says resident JoAnn Syverston.

"If they want to eat the ivy, so what," says resident Tom Sanders.

The deer's diet is costing the home owners association a lot. Tens of thousands of dollars have already been spent on deer resistant replacement plants and maintenance.

"The nuisance part of it is it becomes quite costly because they do come by and if they are left to their own devices, they'll eat everything in sight," says Kibort.

According to state and local authorities, the residents' hands are tied. Killing or injuring a deer not in the wild, is illegal and bothering a deer could lead to animal cruelty charges.

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