Never use pellets to fight pellets

To the editor,

Colorado Parks & Wildlife was made aware of the “Ruminations on a Ruminant” opinion piece by David Feela in the Aug. 4 edition of the Durango Telegraph and would offer the following:
- It is illegal to shoot deer that are eating landscaping in Colorado. At minimum this would be wildlife harassment and could be considered unlawful hunting.
- For anyone who is experiencing these types of issues, the best first step would be to contact the Durango Wildlife Office at 970-247-0855.  We receive many calls each year from landowners who want to deter deer, elk, bears or other species from damaging their landscaping.  
For Mr. Feela’s situation, here are some potential strategies that CPW would suggest:
- Permanent fencing around the plants to keep out deer is likely the best long-term solution.
- Electric fencing could be set up on either a permanent or short-term basis. CPW often recommends this for beekeepers to protect their hives from bears. These systems can be purchased at farm/ranch supply stores.
- Scent-based deterrents like liquid fence have been successful in preventing damage, are advertised as pet and animal friendly, and can last as long as three months.
- If deer are coming too close, they could be sprayed with a garden hose.
The techniques listed above have been proven successful and are legal. Another advantage that they have versus shooting an animal with a pellet rifle is that they are much less likely to cause harm or to kill wildlife.  There have been cases in the past where deer and even bears shot with pellet rifles died from their injuries.

– Matt Thorpe, CPW area wildlife manager, Durango