To many Coupeville residents, the resident black-tail deer are no longer the noble wild creatures or the cute novelties they once were.
At a recent town council meeting, a particularly irked resident complained to the elected leaders, likening the deer to bedbugs and murder hornets and complaining that the numbers are so overwhelming that they leave puddles of pee outside his front door.
The mayor bemoaned that residents have been erecting unsightly wire fences to keep Bambi from decimating beds of petunias and peeping in windows.
A councilman cautioned that people in his neighborhood aren’t safe from the marauding furry ungulates.
And it’s not just Coupeville. In recent years, residents across the island have called the cops to report delinquent deer attacking senior citizens and small pets, killing at least one kitty. Countless cars have struck countless deer.
Now more than ever, it’s time for creative solutions. Perhaps the town or maybe the county should ask for suggestions to the deer problem from pandemic-weary folks, giving everyone the chance to dust off some cobwebs and concentrate on a problem that isn’t particularly life altering.
Oddball ideas should be welcome.
Think of the possibilities. The town could take a cue from Langley, where residents turned an overabundance of rabbits into a festival — although officials first explored such population-control ideas as freelance falconers.
In Coupeville, the Waterfront Association could start Venison Days, an annual carnival featuring local deer on a stick, antler fights and a 5K marathon with runners chasing deer out of people’s yards. Perhaps the taproom could brew up a Deer Puddle pilsner.
Then town could use proceeds from the event to create a fund that compensates residents in much the same way that the government compensates ranchers when wolves eat their cows. Maybe $20 for a stripped rosebush and $30 for a trampled bed of tulips.
Solutions are out there. People just need to be willing to say them out loud. Or scribble them on scraps of paper.