Holly Lake deer disposal

By Jamey Boyum - email
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

HOLLY LAKE, TX (KLTV) - You may recall the problem Holly Lake Ranch had with its deer population. There were so many at the gated community near Hawkins, they were often seen on the golf course and in resident's yards.

After many meetings and on the advice of Texas Parks and Wildlife, they decided to thin the herd. Three hundred deer were to be harvested during a four month period this winter.

Recently, some residents began voicing concerns over disposal methods.

Pat Jones and Sandy Patterson are wondering how buried deer remains are going to affect the environment around Holly Lake Ranch, and what it could attract.

Pat Jones said," Drawing in animals that could be a danger not only to the adult residents but the children and small dogs. I just want them to do the right thing. This is our ranch. This is where we live. This is our home and I just want it cleaned up. Kept clean."

Sandy said,"  We've never had buzzards before. And now we have buzzards who are getting food over here, and tearing it up. They are all over the houses. There were like 17 on the house next door to us. "

Some residents believe the pits should be covered up more quickly to keep scavengers away, but, as you can see, the pits were covered when we were there. There was only some dried blood on the ground. Holly Lake Board Member Larry Bowman said the State visited the day before.

"The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality was out here. They looked at it. They had some complaints from home owners. He said when he got out here he expected a real mess, and he was flabbergasted at how well it was. He indicated that there was no chance of water contamination, so he was happy with what he saw." Stated Larry Bowman.

The board hired a contractor for deer removal and disposal.

Bowman said," Originally they hadn't been covering every time they were out there, but that has been changed now. We've given them access to a tractor, and so now they're covering it each time they do it. We were doing it once a day. Now they're doing it each time they're out there."

Sandi asked," If we do come over here and we see the pits are open can we feel free to call? Will we get a response, because we've never got a response before."

Larry replied," If you don't, you call me."

Residents are still divided over the issue, but for now at least, everyone seems satisfied.

Part of the permit requires the deer meat is used, not just buried. The venison is being moved with refrigerated trailers and donated to the Texas Prison System.