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Bent Tree’s first deer kill sparks controversy from homeowners

Some homeowners of gated community infuriated, accuse board of

mismanagement and inadequate research

The gated community of Bent Tree has just undergone its first deer culling, where 54 deer were shot by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) to thin a herd wildlife officials say became too large for the residential area. 

 But some property owners in the community vehemently opposed the killing, which took place Monday, March 14 through Wednesday, March 16. They accuse the Bent Tree Board of Directors of not backing up the cull with enough research, of improperly conducting the herd survey, of not attempting to manage the herd with alternative methods, of mismanaging funds to pay for the cull and, in some cases, of wanting to eliminate the wildlife in Bent Tree for the sake of saving “fancy yards and flowers” from becoming deer food.   

 Over the three-day cull, Mitch Yeargin of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources said he was called out to subdue conflicts that may have arisen from Bent Tree residents opposed to the kill.


Read the rest of this story in our print edition on sale now at these area locations.


-1 #31 Jennifer 2011-03-29 08:43
When I worked at Bent Tree on a daily basis, it was absurd how many sick deer I saw. They were often flea and tick ridden to the point of being sickly; many also showed signs of starvation. Often, the healthiest of the herd scavenged the areas people frequented most scavenging for leftover food and being hand-fed.
I fully believe something had to be done. Spending close to $10,000 to slaughter the animals is ridiculous. For that amount of money, some time could/should have been taken to find the most friendly of the deer a different home (perhaps Amicalola Deer Park?). I'm certain the board could have found local hunters to take care of the most sickly deer for free.
With that being said, I wonder if protocols were enforced so that only the most sickly deer were harvested so as to improve herd in years to come. For $10,000 and the angst of the community, I hope this was a consideration.
Judy P. Siling
+1 #32 Judy P. Siling 2011-03-29 08:47
The only claim of "miserably" should be directed to those who determined the method used for the recall. When have you cast a ballot or voted with your identity being disclosed? Numerous ballots were not returned for that reason along with the ambiguous content for the purpose of the action.
+1 #33 D.P. 2011-04-12 13:06
This truly angers me! The Bent Tree Board of Directors didn't stop for one minute to think about surrounding areas just outside Bent Tree! Some people around this community hunt deer to feed their families during the winter months. We thin the heard down enough yearly without this unneccesary culling! This purely to satisfy the city folk who want the prestige of having a mountain home but do not want to truly enjoy the surrounding and it's inhabitants!
+1 #34 Bill 2011-04-13 14:53
I live near the back gate and have only seen a couple of deer in the last month. Either the numbers in the study were incorrect or the USDA took a lot more then 57 deer. My walk around the lake yesterday morning I did not see any. Strange since I would normally see a few even during daylight hours.

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