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'Deer-proofing' expert to offer lessons in Mt. Lebanon

Matthew Santoni
| Thursday, April 2, 2015, 6:00 p.m.

An expert in “deer-proof” gardens will offer lessons and talks in Mt. Lebanon later this month.

Rochester, N.Y.-based Sandy Baker, whose website calls her “the deer doctor,” will present residents with deer-deterrent strategies and lessons on deer behavior at times to be determined from April 25 to April 27. She is the author of “How to Deer-Proof Your Garden in Five Easy Steps” and a consultant to the Humane Society of the United States.

“Anybody can attend, from somebody with a yard with nothing in it and no idea what to do with it, to a master gardener,” said Commissioner Kelly Fraasch, who pitched bringing Baker to the rest of the commission as an educational option for residents.

Mt. Lebanon officials hope Baker's presentations can ease some of the discord that followed the flubbed attempt to cull the community's deer population. Deer were baited into corrals where contractors armed with silenced rifles shot and killed them for a payment of $500 a head. The program pitted people who thought the culling would be cruel and ineffective against those who felt an unchecked deer population would endanger drivers and cause vehicle damage. The commission hired Baker for about $1,600 as the municipality continues to weigh both lethal and non-lethal methods to control the deer, using money set aside for deer control and educating residents on deer.

The culling ended March 20. Only six deer were killed. The contractor blamed protesters and warm weather for preventing the deer from taking the bait.

Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or msantoni@tribweb.com.

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