Austinâ€™s ongoing war on deer is receiving mixed reviews. Its attempt to curb deer feeding has had questionable success since its implementation in August of 2009. While some argue that the ordinance prohibiting the intentional feeding of deer has worked, others complain that it is too difficult to enforce.
With only one person having received a fine since its inception, DeerAustin, a neighborhood group, says the ordinance is doing its job. Pointing to the reduction in deer-involved collisions, the Northwest Hills group claims the war is going well.
The NACA (Northwest Austin Civic Associations), however, feels there is still too much deer feeding going on and wants the ordinance strengthened to increase fines and make enforcement easier. They also want to add water to the list of items unlawful to be given deer.
Making it illegal to give water to deer may confuse the situation further. What exactly constitutes â€œgivingâ€? Would having a fountain or a goldfish pond be considered deer watering?
There are no statistics to indicate whether the deer population has changed since 2009, but deer-involved collisions have gone down. Whether this is due to less deer or deer traveling shorter distances in search of food and water is unknown.