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Deer Dilemma at Lake Monticello

By: Althea Paul
By: Althea Paul

December 28, 2005

For years, Lake Monticello residents have been dealing with quite a number of deer. A recent survey by the U.S. Department of Agriculture gives the idea of just how many. It showed that the deer population at Lake Monticello does seem to be fairly high, and now Lake Officials are working towards taking the next step.

Don Scango got a Christmas present that will most likely come in handy--a deer warning device to keep the animals at bay. The Lake Monticello homeowner says deer are no strangers to the gated community.

"We pulled right up and there was a deer right back here," Scango said, pointing to his yard. "It had large antlers and it was just grazing on my front yard."

Results from a recent USDA survey that the home owner's associations paid $3,000 for shows that an estimated 635 deer live at the lake. That's 130 per square mile. Residents say they believe it.

"They're all over. I have I guess a family that comes through," said resident, Charlotte Neuhauser.

"They come by and be in the back yard and get on my apple tree, which they like," said resident, Elenora Grill.

Some Lake Monticello residents believe the animals are a nuisance and that they pose problems with road safety, health issues, and with their properties in general. Now that the association is seriously looking into the numbers, it could mean sharpshooters may have to be brought in.

"They're so cute you would hate to think of them being eliminated...but at some point they become a nuisance and a problem. So, that's a decision the governments have to make. The regulation of the deer population makes sense to me personally," said Scango.

However other residents say the animals are pretty much a part of the community, and should stay that way.

"We're going to have the deer, because the deer were here long before we were, all over this area," said Neuhauser.

For now, this deer debate seems to one that will be in the fore-front of Lake Monticello.

Next month on the 11th, the Lake Monticello board of directors will hold a public hearing where USDA officials will discuss their findings. It will also give residents an opportunity to voice their concerns. The board will then decide if anything should be done about the deer population.


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