Coeur d'Alene residents have become concerned that deer
are coming into town at increasingly higher numbers in search of food.
They worry that there isn't enough food for them with our deep snow cover and are starting to feed them.
Idaho Fish & Game have cautioned us that it hasn't gotten to the point where emergency deer feeding is necessary. They do keep track and are prepared to implement emergency feeding if it becomes essential to our dear deer's well being.
They assure us that local deer
have a sufficient supply of food to carry
them through the winter.
They also caution against the dangers of people feeding the deer. When people feed deer the fawns get pushed out and don't get enough to eat. Deer have been known to die at food sites because their stomach acids aren't suited to artificial feed. Feedings can also contribute to increased risk of disease and create artificially high populations.
Within Coeur d'Alene city limits,
providing food for deer is a code violation.
Code 6.15.040 Feeding Wild Animals states "It is unlawful to feed or provide food or other attractants (other than ornamental plants or vegetable gardens) to wild animals within the city limits except: A. Feeding birds, other than turkeys geese and ducks, by utilizing a bird feeder that may be accessed only by birds or squirrels."
Keep in mind that if deer are encouraged to come into town
for food citizens put out for them it will create other problems.
Some issues for wild animals in urban areas are that they may come into contact with motor vehicles, community members and predators. We don't want to have to deal with cougars, coyotes and wolves following their food into town.
Remember, deer are wild animals and for thousands of years they have been able to survive by traveling around, finding food, procreating and just being deer.