Como deer

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 15, 2010

Oh, deer: Como overrun with Bambi and siblings

By John Howell Sr.

An imaginary newcomer to Como who formed his or her first impression of the place from the Tuesday, October 12 meeting of the town’s mayor and board of aldermen could certainly not be faulted for thinking that the place has gone to the deer. Or dogs. Or both.

The deer population on the north side of town “has gotten extremely bad; we started out with just a few out in our back fields and our yards and it wasn’t so bad at that time,” said homeowner Wayne Weaver who, with his wife, Betty, spoke to town officials, asking for help.

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“As time has progressed their population has drastically increased; … you cannot grow a garden, you cannot grow flowers, you cannot do anything there because of the deer,” he said.

“They’re on my back porch at my door; I can’t live that way,” Betty Weaver said. She said that the late mayor, Judy Sumner, gave her permission to have the deer shot with a bow.

“What I would like to do is be able to have a select number of people with a bow and arrow — no firearms — and try to start culling these animals out,” Wayne Weaver said.

“I think what (they) are trying to ask you to do is to revise the city ordinance to allow hunting by bow and arrow,” said another member of the audience.

Como Police Chief Fred Boskey said that he had spoken with Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks Conservation Officer Marion Pearson about the deer problem. “He said that whatever the town board approves he will accept as long as it doesn’t violate any wildlife rules and regulations,” Boskey told the mayor and aldermen.

Boskey said that the town has an ordinance prohibiting the discharge of firearms in the city and that a bow and arrow is considered a firearm. He said that during his research he had been unable to locate any town ordinance prohibiting hunting.

Boskey also provided copies of a controlled hunting policy developed by the City of Oxford’s elected officials in response to a similar deer problem within its corporate limits. The policy includes a prohibition on feeding deer in city limits and complex procedures for issuing hunting permits and managing hunters inside city limits.

The police chief’s comments came during his department report  and soon left the subject of deer to discuss loose and stray dogs.

“I’m receiving calls about stray dogs throughout the city. It’s believed that most of the dogs are being dropped off around the city and then finding their way to packs that are already wandering the city streets,” Boskey told the elected officials and citizens who attended Tuesday’s meeting.

The police department has no equipment, personnel or facilities for handling animals, Boskey added.

“In our area now, we have packs of five to seven that are also chasing deer all over the area,” one citizen said.

“I am not able to deal with these dog packs. We cannot shoot them,” he added, citing the potential for additional problems.