PRO: More wildlife management needed
James Cobble has experienced close encounters with wildlife in Victoria firsthand.
"I've struck deer near the park that darted out of cover quickly, and I was not able to avoid the collision," said the Victoria account executive.
In Cuero, parks director David Danish said deer and feral hogs have both presented problems.
"We had feral hogs in the cemetery, and trappers come in and got them out," Danish said.
"We have deer problems all over the parks and cemetery. The deer eat certain plants in our landscaping, but we will change the plants to something they won't eat," he said.
The city might consider putting deer fencing around the airport, Danish said.
Increased harvesting of deer within the city could provide a partial answer to the problem, Cobble said.
"Where hunting is a great means of population control, it is to be used within reason as the deer when kept in check provide a great service to the ecosystem," he said.
"If there were a season to take these animals from within city limits, it should be by permit that must be purchased and limit one per person," Cobble said.
"The funds generated by permit sales would greatly benefit the community as well as controlling the exploding deer population within well-maintained guidelines."
Horace Grace, editor of The Journal of the Texas Trophy Hunters magazine, acknowledges that man and creature have become increasingly close neighbors.
"As a 50-plus year wildlife biologist, I agree that critters (deer, coyotes, raccoons, opossums, squirrels, etc.) in Texas are a problem in many areas where there are a lot of people," he said.
"It is an age-old problem, especially in cities like Austin, Houston and San Antonio, to name a few, where city sprawl has folks living out with the creatures."
Hunting may indeed be a partial solution, Grace said.
"As a hunter, I condone the hunting of deer and other species with safe methods such as archery in areas where there are places to safely hunt and where animals are numerous enough to be pests."
But, Grace said, there is always going to be differing opinions on the topic.
"Some of the problems occur because of feeding or food availability. Deer like corn, and coons like cat/dog food," he said.
"However, there will always exist a difference of opinion when half of the residents are feeding wildlife and the other half want to hunt them or get rid of them."
Cobble's hunting has always been about respect for the wildlife, he said.
"I would like to see healthy populations that can prosper without heavy competition causing them to move ever farther into densely human populated areas," he said.
"I only kill to eat and for the good of population management."