Councilman: Colorado Springs not ready to address deer overpopulation

Don Knight says more data needed

Deer solution for Colorado Springs at least two years away

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A Colorado Springs city councilman said it will be another two years before officials are ready to address deer overpopulation in the area.

On Thursday, Councilman Don Knight said officials have spent the past year gathering more information about the animals and that process will continue through the end of 2020.

”We’ve had two deer counts and need more,” he said.  “We need more data about how many deer we have, how much the herd is growing, how much it needs to be reduced and how much chronic wasting disease is present.”

Knight said once that information is gathered, officials can better formulate a deer management plan and convince citizens of the need for it.

”We also need a better idea of how many deer are killed in vehicle collisions,” he said.  “Hopefully in 2021, we’ll have the information we need to proceed.”

Action on the deer situation can’t come soon enough for Rachel Smith, who says her Yorkshire terrier was recently killed by a doe protecting its fawns in an east side neighborhood.

”My dog wasn’t doing anything to threaten the doe,” she said.  “What if it had been my child?  The city needs to do something to reduce the population.”

Last year, officials ruled out an urban archery hunt as an option and decided that hiring a professional to thin the herd was too expensive.

”We found only one firm even willing to create a management plan for us,” Knight said.  “We were told that if we don’t have a majority of public support, it won’t work.”

Late last year, the council voted for an ordinance to ban the feeding of most wild animals in the city limits.

”I don’t know how well it’s working, but feeding deer is a big reason why we’re in this situation,” Knight said.

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