Conversations between me and deer proponents:

A buck deer just attacked my child walking to grade school! “Tell him to watch where he is going”

Deer just destroyed my new costly boulevard trees! “This is Montana, get used to it”

A deer attacked my dog in the backyard and I have an $839 vet bill! “The poor deer was just following its instincts”

My vehicle was just totaled from a deer collision! “The deer were here first”

I need better real solutions to my deer problems than telling me that they are a gift to enjoy with awe and wonder. Tell the deer to strive to live together and then we’ll be getting somewhere.

(21) comments


The city is working to find a comfortable line where we can live with the deer. Would you like to see them all killed?? Maybe we could have a buffer zone around the city limits where any wildlife that crossed that imaginary line was also killed. Lest they become a hazard. How far would you find acceptable? 1 mile this year? 5 miles next year? 10 miles the next. Join the city commission and discuss alternate methods of our in city wildlife removal. They now have a plan till 2017.

I have to say, on a personal note, do we really need to make the world so safe that there is no seeming danger or threat of anything anywhere? That isn't going to happen. Man is inherently destined to die by the simple process of can't escape it. Not to mention, it sounds kind of boring to me.

P.S. The deer do a pretty bang up job of living together, it's us they have issues with! :-)


Well stated GW and Dietz, unlike some who hold that "compromise is oft overrated". Maybe you overrate it, but the vast majority of us know it's part of being a member of civilized society. Good grief! I can say that living in this city for 60 years, I've never been attacked or felt threatened by the deer but then I view them as a part of our environment and like any wild animal I respect their presence and their space. Do their numbers need to be controlled? Sure. And sure, my gardens are a target every year, but a tall fence took care of that when the garden is growing and then in the fall two ten foot gates are opened and those shrubs and trees I wanted protected appropriately shielded. Then, in comes my gardening crew, offering hours of enjoyable watching, browsing away all winter, fertilizing as they go, only to be shut out again in the spring so the cycle begins again. It's just not that hard to do and like Dietz I've observed that careless drivers are more the problem than careless deer.


It is always a wonder to me as to why people are so entitled to need others to solve their problems. While it's a shame that a child was attacked, a dog was attacked, and a vehicle was damaged by deer, my adage is this: don't put yourself in a position where you are completely at the mercy of others. I'm not saying it's wrong to ask for help, but I find the mentality of "me me me, you need to take care of poor old me" extremely tiresome, especially in a situation like this. Are you down on your luck, or out of a job? Ask for help, and help will be given, I can understand that. I just don't know what is expected of everybody else to solve your issues. Walk your child to school. Erect a deer fence. I'm sure most of Montana residents have hit a deer on the highway at some point in our lives, and yes, it's a hazard we need to deal with. That's what insurance is for. So, instead of expecting others to solve your problems, why not solve them yourself? Where are your ideas?


How about going to commission meetings and asking that even more deer be culled?

Blaming the victim like you just did is a cheap shot. Why next thing you know you will be asking him to cage his family up to protect himself.


Not sure how its a cheap shot MtMadMan, the writer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper. Not sure what a newspaper editor is suppose to do about a deer problem here in Helena that has been identified everyway but Sunday by all sorts of people, FWP included.

Lets face it, they are already culling deer, the number of culling increases each year so until the deer are effectively down to numbers that what the writer is talking about doesn't happen, why is it so hard to take extra precautions? The writer of this letter asks for solutions and within the letter is making statements to people that like deer, don't have a problem with deer, and are not in authority to do anything about the deer either way so....what was the writer expecting their answer is going to be?

Speaking only for myself, if I was worried about my cchild being attacked by a deer on the way to school, I'd either take or make arrangements for my child to be taken to school. I probably also wouldn't be planting expensive trees and whatever I did plant, I'd probably put something around it so as not to be eaten/destroyed by deer. Least wise until I was reasonably sure both child and trees/plants weren't in danger of a deer. At the end of the day who is responsible for my child, trees or plants? The city? And hitting a deer with a car? There's a greater chance of hitting a pedistrian not watching where they are going, night or day, then hitting a deer. Or hitting or being hit by another car. I've actually seen deer look both ways before crossing a street. I can count on one hand the number of people I see each day that actually stop and look both ways before crossing.


It was a cheap shot in that he was blaming the victim.

How would you react if he said the attack on a woman was because she dressed too sexy.

Or the store was robbed because they had too much cash on hand.

I agree that as a man he should handle the problem himself. But the city does not allow individuals to cull deer. They have laws.

But the arguments used against people wanting to cull deer are the same most liberals use for most of their arguments, unless it is one of their arguments being gored. Then they have all kinds of arguments. Compromise is oft overrated.

There are too many deer in Helena, they need to be culled. They city's approach is too timid and is a compromise. Will we compromise on the number of cougars hunting deer in town?


the writer never even came close to anything resembling your "fix it for me" crud. silly..



You seem to have a much higher ratio of incidents with deer compared to the average Helenan. I've lived here 45 years and none of my children have been attacked while walking to school, my boulevard trees and flower/vegetable gardens survive because I, as a homeowner, can take steps to keep them away from my plants (no fences around the gardens), I've never hit a deer even though I've seen my share of deer that don't use crosswalks and mindlessly run out into traffic (maybe the fault is with the mindless drivers, after all it could be a kid that darts out in front of you) and none of the 10 or so pets I've owned in all those years has ever been attacked by a deer even though I've walked my pets within 10 feet of some nice sized bucks just along the walking path on Euclid and Custer. I dunno... maybe the deer just like you? :)


And I have lived in Helena for 25 years and never had a car accident. I supposed that means everyone else that has is a liar or just prone to trouble?

The Big L

I'm the same way. I've lived on the west side for over 20 years. Pets, yep. Kids, yep. Garden, yep.

Number of times my dogs have been chased or attacked by deer in my yard = 0.
Number of times my children were chased or attacked by deer in my yard = 0
Number of times I've actually seen this happen = 0.

I think this has more to do about people spending hundreds of dollars on their flowers and gardens but not willing to spend a few dollars on repellant.

The fence around my garden is 0 feet high. The hundred or so tulips that I have also make it each year without getting eaten.

I've had my close calls while driving, but fortunately not in town. It's always as I'm getting up to the 70mph out of town.

TheJanitor guys are sure quick to pounce today. Have you folks have never heard of sarcasm and/or hyperbole? They are valid literary tools. It was not the most gracefully put but you should have been able to recognize his intentions in putting this the way he did. But you smart ones were so fast to pounce that you did not take the time to READ what he was trying to say. Communication takes both sides.

He was clearly using stories from the news in Helena such as the paperboy who was attacked by a buck which then attacked the officers who arrived to help the boy. He clearly was referencing one of a number of attacks on dogs. My first thought was the rottweiler which was attacked in a back yard and severely injured. He clearly was referencing the once VERY common deer/car incidents in Helena. He clearly was referencing the problems of people who live in this city (NOT IN A WILDERNESS AREA) who don’t like having their yards destroyed by the overpopulation of urban deer.

He happens to have hit upon the largest and most often stated complaints and the answers so many give to them. Maybe he was trying to get the conversation back to something beyond “ohhh...they are sooooo pretty”. Maybe you should have recognized his references if you are REALLY so informed yourselves.

His letter was not as clear as it could have been but the responses are really ridiculous. And honestly, if you could not discern his intent, you should be in a lot less rush to criticize.


Sarcasm is extremely hard to communicate in writing. No inflection in tonal quality to make clear the intent.

And hot button issues trample hyperbole and sarcasm before any cognitive process even begins. Maybe next time he should use sarc/on and sarc/off. :-)


VERY TRUE. That will certainly be much easier on those who cannot manage basic critical thinking and flunked elementary reading comprehension..

Gods Country

Well I am not sure what the population of deer in the city are but I do know there are deer here year round. I have not had any issues with them. I plant stuff they don't eat, and keep an eye on the road when driving as well as don't speed. I have seen many people drive 35 or 40 mph + in a 25mph zone and no wonder they hit a deer that pops out. those speed limits are there for a reason. I do know that if we have a local herd in town where there is no hunting and they are breeding here and staying here that eventually the number goes up. With that higher population in a small area, the first thing that will set in is disease which is natures way of culling over populated animals. If we keep on the premise that we are culling animals because they are in our way, then, there will be a day there are no animals to worry about.


Actually it is my understanding of this issue is the City of Helena is culling (killing) a certain number of deer each year to keep the population under control. They have stated numerous times that the intention is not to remove all the deer, but to try and get around 25 deer per square mile is which is higher then the natural wild deer herd would be, if Helena wasn't here. So there is still going to be some deer around. Based on the size of the City that would be approx. 400 deer living in Helena. As the City is 16 square miles. Now if you really want more then that, then I suggest you contact your City Commissioners and let them know you want more deer in town. However you are correct if the numbers are not kept in check by some means then nature will take it course and you will have a disease reduce the numbers. When that would occur I have no clue. Could take a couple of thousand before that point is reached. However if you can recall about 4 years ago the City deer estimate was around 8 or 9 hundred. To me that seemed to be excess number of deer living in town as numerous problems and issues were coming up. Now based on the latest news articles it appears it is between 200 to 300 based on which numbers you look at. I do enjoy the folks who keep saying since I have never had a problem with the deer, then there must not be a problem. Kind of selfish in a way. I mean really why would I need a fire dept. since my house has never burned. Oh you mean my neighbor may have problem. It's a complicated issue, however since the deer are not being wasted and they are apparently a very effective renewal resource and based on some of these comments, folks are still seeing deer. What is the answer?


The culling is working just fine and is the best solution available. That is why it was chosen.


If I was going to wager on it, I'd say it was the cheapest and easiest option available.


Nailed it. With the kill offs of the last year, I'd be happy to see some of my tax monies spent on relocation rather than euthanasia at this point. Never going to happen tho.


This is a must read...


That is a must read!! Step back tho'...there may be backlash!!


Well that was a total waste of five minutes.

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