Tellico Village neighborhood divided over effort to reduce deer population

TELLICO VILLAGE (WATE) – Tellico Village has started taking action to thin the heard of deer that some feel has become a nuisance, but not all the neighbors are on board with this.

Many are worried about too many deer in too small of an area. Some say the deer’s health could be at stake and the homeowners association is asking the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for permission to hunt the animals out of season.

Previous story: Deer population causes concerns in Tellico Village neighborhood

The homeowners say the deer are causing thousands of dollars in damage. They’re glad the TWRA has approved marksmen to come in and shoot some of the deer in a process called culling.

The committee says there are a lot of deer per square foot – 300 total, they say, in the Kahite neighborhood. Committee members say the choice to cull the heard came after researching methods like lethal snare, controlled hunting and animal birth control weren’t reasonable.

Not everyone is on board with this eradication process. One homeowner believes there are still other options. Anya Hammersmith says she’s not convinced the problem is as severe as the committee says.

“Where are these deer? How many are in each of the zones?” she asked.

The TWRA marksmen can only shoot deer on properties where the owner allows them to with a special permit. The committee also says 100 percent of the deer meat will be donated to a local food shelter.

February is considered an assessment month. At the end, the committee will review their findings with the TWRA. Those neighbors against the cull say they’ll continue to speak out.

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