PLEASANT VIEW -- The deer population is surging in this mountainside city, prompting council members to ponder the problem and ways to handle it.
Councilman Jerold Burns said 60 percent of residents' complaints he heard in the past month regarded deer. One resident said he had seen deer crossing U.S. 89 at night to drink out of horse water troughs and said the deer could cause an accident.
In February, resident and orchard owner Ron Jensen received complaints from neighbors about an agricultural fence he put up around his orchards to keep out the deer. Jensen said without the fence the deer would destroy thousands of dollars worth of crops. In the end the council did allow Jensen to build the fence with some modifications.
Mayor Doug Clifford asked council members for their general feelings on the issue.
"Should we take the next step or are we just going to tough it out?" asked Clifford. He recalled an accident one year in which a youth on a mountain bike and a deer collided in front of his house. The young man's neck was broken.
"What do you think the deer are saying?" asked Councilman Toby Mileski, "They (people) are showing up everywhere."
He also said, "What's going to happen when you shoot a deer with an arrow and it runs in a yard and you have Bambi dying on the front porch?"
"You get both sides," said Councilman Scott Boehme, he said some would wonder how people could shoot the marauding deer.
Police Chief Scott Jackson said there would actually be very few places in the city where it would be legal to fire a gun at the deer.
"You can't shoot across roadways or toward any structures," said Jackson.
Mileski said the state that would regulate any deer hunting in city limits, should the city consider some kind of deer hunt to thin the herd.
Burns said perhaps the city should just remain aware of the problem and keep an eye on other hillside cities and how they are dealing with growing deer populations, such as Highland and Bountiful. He said Pleasant View may not want to be on the forefront of the issue at this time.