Town-dwelling deer running amok in Baker City
I moved to Baker City two months ago from nearby Idaho. My wife’s family has been in the Baker Valley since the late 1800s. Over the last decade and more, I have spent many wonderful vacations in and around Baker. The place is beautiful, and the people are good. I had heard that the deer problem has been getting steadily worse over the last several years, and that deer kept moving closer and closer to town from the mountains, getting more and more comfortable around humans. Now that I am a resident, I am alarmed to note that the problem is worse than that. There are no fewer than three separate families of deer living in and around town permanently, who graze in people’s yards in the middle of town (all the way into the historic district and in the shopping areas) during the middle of the day with no fear. And at least one group of young bucks wanders around wherever they please, destroying yards and gardens. Worse, people aren’t allowed to do much about it. The local laws prohibit citizens from personally relocating, removing, or harming the deer. When I shooed several bucks out of my fruit trees and later out of my garden, one of the neighbors gave me grief for ruining her photo op and potentially causing the deer distress. That attitude is partly to blame for us being in this predicament, but I doubt most of the townsfolk share that positive feeling toward deer running amok around town. I ask the following question to our city officials: What are you doing to help us solve this problem?