Deer dilemma: SC city dealing with debate over intrusive neighbors

TEGA CAY, S.C. — A South Carolina city is being dominated by deer and neighbors are now debating how to handle the dilemma.

Tega Cay says right now they have about 349 deer per square mile in the community of about 10,000 people along Lake Wylie.

Channel 9′s Tina Terry spoke with residents divided by the deer.

Usually you’d expect to see deer in the woods and maybe the occasional sighting in the suburbs, but some people told us they see deer at all hours of the day and it is now a nuisance.

“We have probably a dozen to two dozen deer coming through our property each day,” Scott Peters told Channel 9. “My wife is a huge gardener and they eat everything you plant out there and they defecate everywhere, that’s pretty disgusting.”

Neighbors sent us photo after photo, even videos, showing deer making themselves at home all over the area.

“All they do is they eat any plants,” neighbor Millie Riley said.

Tonight, the city will hold a meeting where leaders could decide what to do about the deer debate.

After complaints from neighbors, Tega Cay City Council conducted a study in 2015 showing 67 deer per square mile. Now the number is nearly 350 deer per square mile.

Four options are on the table to handle the deer: do nothing, hire an expert marksman to cull the herd, sterilization or relocation, which could be the most unethical and inhumane option, according to officials.

Peters wants something to be done.

“I think it’s mainly destroying the landscaping that’s the big issue,” he said.

Others are hoping leaders won’t eliminate the deer.

“I really, really, really hope that they don’t,” Riley said.

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