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MailTribune.com
  • The fall deer count is down in Ashland over prior years

    But fewer volunteers were counting in fewer areas of the city
  • Volunteers who fanned out across Ashland counted at least 106 deer this fall, down from tallies of about 190 deer during fall counts in 2011 and 2012.
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  • Volunteers who fanned out across Ashland counted at least 106 deer this fall, down from tallies of about 190 deer during fall counts in 2011 and 2012.
    However, fewer volunteers were available to count the animals, said Michael Parker, an organizer of the deer count and chairman of Southern Oregon University's Biology Department.
    Volunteers previously covered 63 sections of Ashland, but in a count earlier this month they reached about 48 or 49 sections, Parker said.
    A handful of tally sheets are still out and could boost the count, he said.
    Anecdotally, many volunteers said they saw fewer deer in the areas they did cover, Parker said.
    Organizers and volunteers first started counting deer during a half hour window at dawn in fall 2011 to get a baseline estimate on the number of deer in town.
    Only deer that are visible to volunteers can be counted, not animals that are hidden in backyards or bedded down in thick vegetation.
    Some residents welcome the sight of wild deer, but others are concerned deer eat gardens and landscaping, collide with vehicles and — especially during fawning season — threaten pets and people.
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