Overpopulation of deer in North Texas neighborhood causes problems

Some neighbors in the town of Granbury are upset about the nets installed behind their homes due to an overpopulation of white-tailed deer.

GRANBURY, Texas – A large residential community in Hood County has seen a surge in the deer population in recent months. This has forced a Granbury association to install float nets throughout the community, but many residents disagree that this is the right approach.

A resident who wanted the WFAA to protect his identity for fear of retaliation said this approach was wrong and sad.

“Putting it near people’s homes is horrible,” the resident told the WFAA. “They don’t ask us and they expect us to live with it.”

The association that manufactures these landing nets is Plantation of pecansa large exclusive community in Granbury.

Landing nets are designed to trap deer by luring them with food. They are strategically placed where deer congregate.

Residents tell the WFAA that the number of white-tailed deer in the area has skyrocketed. Texas Parks and Wildlife didn’t have an exact count at the time of this report, but residents say there are more than 900 in the area.

In some areas of the community, the nets are seen hovering just feet from the backyards of homes. Another set of nets are also placed deep in a nearby pecan grove.

The WFAA has made several requests to Pecan Plantation for additional information regarding the deer population issue.

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“It looks like quite a lot of deer in a fairly developed area,” said Alan Cain, white-tailed deer program manager for Texas Parks and Wildlife.

Cain said the community applied for a trap, transport and process permit. The permit allows the community to install nets. Cain said the process of trapping deer is not illegal, but he is aware of the controversy surrounding the practice.

There are approximately 2 dozen trapping, transporting and processing licenses in Texas. Cain said there are specific areas where you can’t hunt.

The resident who does not want to be identified said the nets were in place two years ago before the pandemic and there was also an outcry from residents. She also said that in the past she had heard the deer get caught crying and thrashing in the nets.

“You shouldn’t have to hear that,” the resident said. “There are so many other ways to do this humanely. I want them to go, I want them to consider other ways.”

The resident said she didn’t disagree that there was an overcrowding problem, but she disagreed with the way it was being handled.

Alan said overcrowding may be a bigger problem. Deer in non-native urban habitats are often in poor health.

“I think there’s always a perception that if the net falls off and the deer struggle and people get worried, but that’s a natural reaction,” Cain said.

Residents of the community said the nets will remain in place until the end of March.

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