400 Holly Lake Ranch deer will live on - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

400 Holly Lake Ranch deer will live on

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

HOLLY LAKE RANCH, TX (KLTV) - Residents are divided about it, but it looks like Bambi is catching a break.

Tuesday, the Holly Lake Ranch community rejected a Parks and Wildlife recommendation to kill 400 deer that have overrun the community. But, those in favor of the deer control measure say the battle is not over yet.

"This was theirs before it was ours," said Brenda Eberhart. "We took a lot away from them and they just kind of wandered."

Eberhart has lived in Holly Lake Ranch home for more than 35 years. It was the wildlife, especially the deer, that drew her to the area.

"They are so graceful," said Eberhart. "They have never bothered anything here at my home or me."

But, with no predators in the community, the deer population has exploded to thousands.

"They're so hungry they're eating things they don't normally eat," said Ann Reynolds.

Like Eberhart, Reynolds moved to Holly Lake for the nature, but argues the deer herds are destroying it in front of her eyes.

"I'm not seeing the birds, I'm not seeing rabbits," said Reynolds. "I'm not seeing the wildlife that I did when I moved out here."

Texas Parks and Wildlife agreed that the deer density was too high, forcing the community to vote on the deer's fate.

The board of directors met Tuesday morning to vote on this issue. It was a 6 to 3 vote against the removal of the deer.

"This means that we will not be reducing any of the head count this spring," explained Larry Bowman, part of the Holly Lake Ranch board of directors.

"I'm delighted," said Eberhart. "I wish I could think it was permanent."

"Everything I have read says we are putting off the inevitable," said Reynolds.

For now, the deer population will be left alone - an issue residents say has not been solved just yet. The Holly Lake board of directors will re-visit the issue this summer, and there could be another vote in the fall.

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