Deer causing problems, damage to some Parowan properties
By Craig Bennett
Iron County Today
PAROWAN–Iron County is a very rural area. Some areas of Iron County are more rural than others. Parowan is one of them, and quite often, no matter the season, deer can become a problem for home and business owners.
A Parowan resident voiced concern at the last Parowan City Council meeting regarding the damage that has been done to his personal property by the deer in the area. He told the council that deer have done $15,000-plus in damages in the last seven years.
He claimed that the Division of Wildlife Resources said they would give him $1,000 for the damage and also build a 7-foot fence across the front and side of his property, but these things never happened. According to this resident, the DWR estimates there are 100 deer in Parowan, of which they say 70 or so are does. The DWR removed 20 deer in the spring of 2017 and said they would take out 20 more in the fall. Looking at the numbers, if there were 80 deer left, and 56 of them were does, and they each had one fawn, we would now have 136 deer of which 95 would be does if the DWR doesn’t take out 20 this fall.
This resident is now billing the Parowan City Council for the $15,000 in damage to his property.
Parowan Mayor Don Landes told Iron County Today, “We live in deer country. Deer have become almost domesticated in the Parowan area. They have gotten used to eating the trees, bushes and gardens at certain times of the year.”
One of the challenges is that some residents are perfectly willing to let the deer nibble on gardens and trees in their yards, while others aren’t.
According to www.wildlife.utah.gov, a city with a resident deer population that is significantly damaging private property or threatening public safety within its boundaries may request from the Division of Wildlife Resources for a certificate of registration to design, create and administer an urban deer control plan. Under the plan, deer have to be causing significant damage to private property or threatening public safety within the city. The city also has to enact an ordinance prohibiting the feeding of deer, elk or moose, The city must also have general liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000 that covers liability claims by initiating an urban deer control plan and the removal of deer.
The city must also submit with its application the estimated population of resident deer in the city and the final target population number it seeks to achieve through deer removal. It will specify the seasonal time period when deer may be removed as well as the number of deer by gender.
The certificate of registration would authorize the city to employ lethal methods to control deer as authorized by state and federal law. The city could also utilize baiting to facilitate safe and effective removal.
The city is not allowed to capture a deer for release outside of municipal boundaries without a written capture and relocation plan approved by the division. Allow an employee, officer, agent, licensee or contractor who has not been certified or approved to capture or release a deer. Or authorize the discharge of firearms or archery equipment for deer removal between one half hour after official sunset and one half hour before official sunrise. Cities may also not violate federal, state or local laws among many others.
“I have agreed to bring the problem back to the council,” he added. “What I don’t want to happen, as has happened in the past, is to get the DWR involved and have them come into Parowan in the middle of the night and shoot the deer. The liability is just too great. But I also don’t want to let the number of deer escalate out of control.”