SPRINGVILLE (ABC4 Utah News) – Oh deer. Has Springville got ’em – the kind of unwanted residents that don’t pay taxes but trespass on your property and eat your flowers.
Frank Weight, a lifelong resident of Springville says the deer started coming down from the mountains after the harsh winter of 1982.
“I’ve seen ’em down by the freeway. I’ve seen ’em on Main Street. They’re just all over town,” Weight told ABC4 Utah News Tuesday evening. “One day I counted 40 going through my backyard.”
“They’re always in our backyard or walking across the street,” Erin Hymas said at a nearby park. “I get to show the kids and they seem really friendly and it’s just fun.”
These aren’t mountain deer that come down to feed in winter. An estimated 250 deer live in the city limits year round with another 50 to 70 residing on the periphery of town.
Springville Mayor Wilford Clyde said something had to be done to control the population.
“I like to see the deer on occasion but maybe not as many as we have here in town now,” Mayor Clyde said. “One of the problems is just traffic problems and people running into them and causing accidents. The other is they’re irritants to people and their yards and the flowers that they plant and their vegetables.”
“It’s kind of a nuisance. You can’t have a garden without a fence,” he said. “It’s hard to have flowers, some shrubs they just eat ’em down. They love tulips. That’s like candy to them. Nobody around here has tulips.”
The cost the city will pay to have Humphries Archery reduce the population by 200 over the next three years? $18,000. It’s big bucks, a lot of doe – but to Frank Weight it’s worth it.
“Sometimes I worry that I’m going to go into my backyard and disturb a big buck and he’s going to charge at me,” Weight said. “There’s been times, it’s happened to both me and my wife, that as we try to open the back door, we hit a deer laying right against the door on the back porch.”
“I hope they don’t do it because…it’s Springville,” Hymas said. “Having all of the deer down here, it’s Springville to me and my kids love it. We all love it.”
Mayor Clyde says the archery company will bait the deer into secluded areas in the early morning hours and use their bows to kill them as humanely as possible.
All the meat will be donated to organizations that feed the needy.