Oh, Deer! Resident Says

Deer are invading her Hampstead Road neighborhood, Charlotte Dewey told the City Council Monday night, and she hopes the city will take some steps to abate the problem.

Dewey, a longtime La Cañadan, said that for the first 15 years of residence here she and her family never saw a deer on their street, "but now we see whole herds."

She also noted that coyotes, natural predators of deer, seem to have vanished. "We never see a coyote," Dewey said.

Her concern, she said, is that with the extended dry period experienced in the Southland this year, plants are stressed, hillsides are becoming barren due to the deer eating plants down to the ground and there is a greater potential for damaging mudslides when the next rainy season arrives.

"What can we do?" Dewey asked the council. "I think it's going to be very serious."

Mayor Dave Spence said he'd had a few recent phone calls about the local deer population and has already looked into a possible solution. "We found there's a product called Deer No No. It's available on the Internet for a reasonable price … you hang the packet low on the [tree] limbs. You can't smell it, but [the deer] can and they won't come onto your property."

City Manager Mark Alexander said Dewey's remarks, which came during the public comment portion of the council meeting, constituted the first complaint he'd heard about deer. He said it is the city's practice when receiving similar complaints to call the county agricultural commission, which can visit the area and formulate a plan. "We'll work with them and see if there's something we can do to head off the problem," Alexander said.

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