Something must be done about deer herd | Letter to the editor

Posted 2/20/23

When my family moved here in the late 1980s, there were deer and packs of coyotes to keep the number of fawns in check. There was no need to have 6-foot fences to protect gardens, ornamentals, and …

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Something must be done about deer herd | Letter to the editor


When my family moved here in the late 1980s, there were deer and packs of coyotes to keep the number of fawns in check. There was no need to have 6-foot fences to protect gardens, ornamentals, and fruit trees. Now there are fewer predators.

I walk on a daily basis and started counting deer one year ago. One of my routes starts at my home at Blaine/Madison (near Chetzemoka) to the Co-op then through downtown and back up the hill on Monroe. 

At first, the tallies were in the high teens and low 20s. 

Last fall my record count was 34. On Feb. 4, I counted 47 deer! What will it be this fall — 80? This is ridiculous.

My dog and I were stalked by deer three times last spring, twice in neighborhoods between my house and Fort Worden and once near the courthouse. 

Last month we were chased by possibly the same doe near the courthouse. She was not protecting fawns, merely grazing with two yearlings. It is scary being aggressively tracked by a large animal!

My friend and I suggest the city hire expert archers to cull the herds then make the meat available to citizens.

The deer are so hungry, they now eat geraniums on my front steps and unprotected dahlias near my garage, which they did not do previously. 

They have so severely “trimmed” our laurel hedge that we can see through parts of it now. We’ve had it — something must be done.

Jackie Aase


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  • !LovelyPTWa#49

    The deer eat your geraniums and hedge...ha! BooHoo. Welcome to the club. Now skidaddle-you're being ridiculous.

    P.S. I hear prices in Seattle are coming down.

    Wednesday, February 22 Report this

  • Dcc

    Maybe you can be a little more condescending next time.

    Wednesday, February 22 Report this

  • Snowball_InHawaii

    Deer in town should be seen, and not herded.

    Thursday, February 23 Report this

  • Sonny Flores

    I do think we all can agree “When animals have no predators to maintain a healthy population, they can become unhealthy”. And yes it’s true there have been deer aggression on our streets. Telling someone who suggests a remedy to a “real issue” to leave PT etc doesn’t solve anything,,remember “America , Love it or Leave it” because people were voicing their opinions? You may not if you are 50 or younger. Hopefully the city will continue to work with seeking a solution to a longstanding issues of “Deer meets people “

    Thursday, February 23 Report this

  • forsho

    It's not about geraniums.

    It's about all, and I mean all, the seedling trees that Nature intends to be the successional next generation replacement trees as the older ones get blown or otherwise taken down. All of these, firs, cedars, alders...are all browsed to the ground by the overwhelming numbers of urban deer. This is Nature way out of balance.

    In my wooded PT neighborhood, new deer paths have appeared even in the past few weeks--too much hoof traffic. One bank is starting to erode into the street; the next big rain will accelerate the process. Repairs will be costly--the City isn't likely to pay for that.

    It's heartbreaking to witness fawns get struck by vehicles and painfully die right on the spot. And this is happening far too often on 25-mph streets in town. Then the City gets called to remove carcasses--your tax dollars at work.

    At first (some years ago) I enjoyed that deer chose my yard to rest in. Now, there are parades of 3, 4, even 7-deer caravans coming by multiple times each day.

    In the absence of predators, ANY species may multiply beyond the carrying capacity of the land, beyond what can sustainably feed the species. When food is exhausted--like this past September and October, the animals greatly suffer. The maggot-eaten carcass that showed up out back of here last year is not anyone's idea of Bambi's charm.

    Friday, February 24 Report this

  • MargeS

    did you ever think that maybe humans are over populating the world? Bet there were lots of deer in Port Townsend before humans showed up.

    Friday, February 24 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    Right MS, lots of deer but no trees according to some.....

    Saturday, February 25 Report this

  • MargeS

    Plenty of trees in 1851 when Port Townsend saw the first white settlers. They cut them down. Lumber often went to rebuild San Francisco that had a fire problem.

    Saturday, February 25 Report this

  • moranpro

    This is an issue in parts of NY and in some BC cities as well but instead of culling or some other form of hunting inside city limits, they've implemented a sterilization plan. I've mentioned this kind of program for years but it's fallen upon deaf ears. PT isn't the only community that has certain issues with our deer population. It's time to start looking at reasonable plans to solve the problem of inbreeding, over population & car strikes.

    Wednesday, March 1 Report this

  • MargeS

    Sterilization costs about $1800 per deer, if done by a professional. You can bring the cost down if you have volunteers help. Transporting them to a sterilization facility costs around $1100 per deer, if you have volunteers transporting.

    That said, even if you sterilize them they will still be around for a few years, and probably more will come in from the wild. It cost about $600 per deer for bow hunters to take them out. I guess you could have a bow hunting season inside the city limits, but then there is the risk of killing other animals or even people.

    Why do the deer hang out in Port Townsend? Not sure but maybe because some people feed them or grow succulent plants that they love. The only humane way is to build very big fences, not sure what that would cost. Think of them as a tourist attraction.

    Wednesday, March 1 Report this

  • MargeS

    Oh, I thought of a bumper sticker: "We're all Here Because of the Deer"

    Wednesday, March 1 Report this

  • Justin Hale

    I said it before and I repeat, "I propose an open season on deer within the city limits, under certain rules, hand-to-hoof combat, and no weapons other than brute force, tooth, and claw. Imagine the entertainment value. Mammal a Mammal."


    In a further effort to Seattleize PT, let's get rid of the deer and do like the civilized folk in the Land of the Many Too Many do, Plastic deer on our lawns!

    Thursday, March 2 Report this


    Venison steak = shop local lol.

    Friday, March 3 Report this