Is your homeowners association located in an area that wildlife frequent? More specifically, is your Association located in such a location that deer regularly visit your community? While deer are beautiful creatures to admire, the HOA board may want to caution owners from interacting too closely with these animals.
Many owners often have a soft place in their heart for animals and wildlife, and have the best of intentions regarding their contact with them. However, feeding deer is not in their best interests, or the interests of the Association.
Here are some items to remind your community with regards to friendly deer visitors:
- Depending on what you feed them, deer may actually be harmed by humans feeding them. Some human foods will kill them within a few days or could debilitate them enough to be easy targets for predators and automobiles.
- Feeding is a way of domesticating deer and tame deer create a host of other problems. Because they no longer fear people, they become vulnerable to hunters. They are emboldened to eat the shrubs in your vicinity and community. They will bring more deer into yards within your homeowners association and with this comes the possibility of more deer ticks. Also, concentrations of deer attract coyotes and wolves— animals who may kill your pets along with the deer.
- Deer adapt very easily to people, but they do not need to be fed by people. They survive just fine on their own – better in fact! Usually the weather controls deer populations, but deer fed by people increase regardless of the weather. This leads to overpopulation and disease.
Deer browsing in the backyard may be a charming site – but Lyme disease and road kill are not. To protect the community members and your Association a simple message from the HOA board may be necessary: "Please refrain from feeding the deer…let nature do its job!"