Neighbors divided over deer trapping and slaughtering
SPRING BRANCH, Texas - A legal practice referred to as trap, transport and process has many speaking out.
When the News 4 Trouble Shooters went to the standing room only meeting at the Spring Branch River Crossing neighborhood 2 weeks ago, there was a lot of frustration and also confusion about what was actually happening to deer as they struggled beneath nets late at night.
Property Owners Association President, Doug Abraham confirmed they were managing the deer population by baiting, netting and slaughtering.
The POA is under contract with a capture service and it's done under a Texas Parks and Wildlife permit.
The practice has been going on for close to a decade in this community, but it was only recently when a video was posted on youtube, that many of the homeowners began protesting it.
"Its very inhumane. The animals are suffering and everyone's pretty upset about it," said resident, Mike Taylor.
If you watch the video, there is no evidence of abuse or mistreatment, but the deer are obviously trapped and scared.
"Children would witness the animals being trapped and crying and scared," Taylor said.
At the recent POA meeting, most of the neighbors agreed the number of deer was a problem, but they couldn't agree on what to do about it.
"I'm very well aware that culling has proven ineffective no matter what the species," said property owner, Shelley Blessing.
"They eat our grass, they eat our trees, they eat whatever, but they were here first," said, property owner Vivien Brown.
Board President, Doug Abraham said the goal is not to get rid of the deer completely, rather to control the population.
Diana Reyes with Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation said there are other ways to address the problem.
"Planting plants that are not deer friendly; plants that deer don't like and won't eat," Reyes said.
Abraham confirmed the Whitetail deer are taken to a licensed processing facility where they are killed and the meat is donated to a charitable organization.
The Axis deer are sold to hunting ranches.
"It's very sad to see this cruetly go on," Brown said.
During our interview with Abraham, he said a petition was circulating and if at least 10% of the property owners signed it, he would call a meeting to decide whether the practice of trapping should be suspended for the duration of the season.
Within 5 days, he sent an email stating 20% of the property owners had already signed and as a result, an executive decision was made to immediately suspend trapping for the rest of 2018.