Heights of North Park residents request help in controlling deer herd in area
Heights of North Park homeowners want Pine officials' to help manage the herds of defecating, sleeping and reportedly starving deer in their housing plan.
“They're not intimidated by people anymore,” resident Jackie Demetris recently told the Pine Township Board of Supervisors. When snows recently melted, neighbor Heidi Donovan found a small, dead deer under her dining room window, behind some bushes.
“There's got to be a way to manage these herds,” said Kathy Seaton, another resident,
Pine supervisors Chairman Mike Dennehy agreed after Demetris and Seaton spoke at the supervisors' March 17 meeting.
“My bushes have been totally destroyed,” Dennehy said. “It's a problem we need to look at.”
Heights of North Park residents want the supervisors to partner with the Pennsylvania Game Commission to address the animals' apparent overpopulation.
“I want them — the supervisors — to put a line item in their budget to investigate a deer management program for the township,” Demetris said.
After the meeting, Dennehy asked Scott Anderson, township assistant manager, to seek the game commission's aid with the deer issue.
“There's no easy answer to this,” Dennehy said. “All we can do is ask for the assistance of the game commission, and try to follow their instructions.
“The big problem is (deer in) North Park,” Dennehy said about the county park that adjoins the Heights of North Park housing plan.
Dan Puhala, the game commission's wildlife conservation officer for northern Allegheny County, said Pine officials can consider a number of ways to manage the deer population. Among the possible steps they may take: listing deer feeding bans, controlled archery hunts, fencing, and deer culling by permit with firearms.
“There are issues of practicality and social acceptability that need to be discussed on a government level,” Puhala said.
Heights of North Park residents cited rampant deer scat among a number of problems caused by the animals.
“I shovel it with my snow shovel because it's just in piles,” Demetris said. “They're eating things they normally don't eat, like blue spruce. ... They've destroyed the hemlocks around here.”
Neighbor Anita King fears the deer herds' threat to her children's health, more than the animals' destruction of vegetation.
“I have two small children,” she said. “Our yard is trashed, but my concern is the ticks and the disease and the droppings everywhere, and my kids not being able to play in my yard unless I spend two hours cleaning it up.
“The Lyme disease thing really frightens me, even more than the landscaping issues, which are major,” King said. “We put in 25 new trees. They (the deer) ate half of them.
“They're not afraid of people,” King said about the deer. “They're basically knocking on my front door.”
King said that she is open to shooting the animals. But Dennehy knows deer control by firearms is likely to upset people.
“I'm not sure there are a lot of choices,” Dennehy said. “The obvious choice is to eliminate the deer, but PETA — People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — would be all over us.”
Deborah Deasy is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6369 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Auto-repair shop plan for former Wexford fire station hits opposition
- Nature mural in North Park makes up Girl Scout project
- Workshops provide parents facts about North Hills math program
- Cutbacks limit tax forms available at North Hills-area libraries
- North Hills High School students prepare for 1st dance marathon
- Pay raises approved for Ross employees
- St. Ursula School in Hampton to show off 104-year success story