There is a resident deer herd of around 22 animals in the southwest part of Monticello which enter the city every night in search of food. They eat flowers, shrubs and trees throughout the city. They squeeze through fences, until they are useless. These deer have never left the area. They do not migrate to warmer canyons in the winter, even with two feet of snow on the ground. Local wildlife officers have verified that they are “resident deer”.
People new to the area might think how lovely it is to see the deer. Those of us who are lifetime residents know that this is a relatively recent phenomenon. In my opinion, the private hunting units around town have taken the hunting pressure off these local deer.
Additionally, Monticello passed an ordinance prohibiting firearm discharge inside city limits after a local man shot a dog in front of women and children. For the record, I voted against that ordinance.
Because of this ordinance, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources requires the City to officially request that they shoot the animals. This has not been done in four or five years. Last November, the City Council held a vote on whether to request deer removal. With only four members present to vote, Councilmen Randall and Hoggard voted against it, creating a tie. Mayor Allen voted with them to break the tie and not request animals be removed.
This isn’t the only thing the governing body did in the last six months which disappointed me.
The Constitution of the State of Utah, which all elected officials swear to uphold as they take office, allows citizens measures to protect their property rights. These deer have destroyed — not damaged — 30-year old trees and shrubs of many residents in this area. I have spoken to most of our neighbors who feel this same way. We want our city officials to uphold our rights and request the state to remove the deer.
The orderly removal of deer prevents the problems that arose in the past when government ignores the rights of citizens and taxpayers. There are newcomers and animal lovers who will oppose this action. When those people bring their checkbooks up to pay me and my neighbors and help us fix fences to keep these animals out, then they will have credibility with me. Until then, they ought to have to go out in the “wild” to see these wild animals.