Deer are considered by many to
be one of nature's most beautiful animals, but they can compromise
public safety and pose a nuisance to homeowners. Additionally,
an overabundance of deer will denude forest undergrowth and remove
vital food sources on which other animals rely. This overabundance
of deer can have a dramatic impact on the quality of small, urban
In the 1950's deer were isolated to the Land Between the Lakes
region of Kentucky and numbered approximately 2,000. Between
1960 and 1990, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife released
deer into Kentucky from other parts of the country. This restocking
program increased the number of deer in the state from approximately
2,000 in the 1950's to over 1 million today. According to the
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, deer are reaching a
saturation point in many parts of the Commonwealth.
PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUES
More people are killed as a result of deer/vehicle collisions
each year than by dogs, snakes, sharks, mountain lions, bears
and alligators combined. On average 130 people are killed in
deer/vehicle collisions each year, making deer the most deadly
animal in the United States.
In Fort Thomas,
between 2003 and 2006 there were 47 deer/vehicle collisions reported
in Fort Thomas. This results in a yearly average of 11.75 deer/vehicle
collisions in Fort Thomas. Most of the collisions occur along
Memorial Parkway and Mary Ingles Highway. Due to the number of
deer carcasses found along the wooded areas of the city it is
obvious that many more such collisions go unreported. Based on
statistics provided by the Kentucky State Police (www.kentuckystatepolice.org/deerauto.htm#totcol),
each collision results in approximately $2,000 in damage to the
vehicle, but more importantly, a collision puts the occupants
of the vehicle at risk of injury or death. In an effort to reduce
these risks, the city suggests that drivers implement the following
defensive driving techniques:
- Watch closely for deer in early morning and evening hours.
Deer are most active during these times.
- Be especially alert during the months of October, November
and December when deer are very active.
- Be especially alert and drive with caution when you are moving
through known deer crossing areas such as Memorial Parkway, Mary
Ingles Highway and Interstate 471.
- Use your high-beam headlights whenever possible.
- Upon seeing a deer, immediately slow down. Do not swerve.
Swerving can cause you to enter the lane of opposing traffic
or drive off of the roadway.
- Look for other deer after one has crossed the road. Deer
often travel together in small herds.
- Ensure that the driver and all occupants of the car are wearing
seatbelts. Make sure small children are securely placed in approved
child-safety seats. Most people injured or killed in deer/vehicle
collisions were not wearing a seat belt. The Fort Thomas Fire
Department and Police Department are available to assist with
the proper installation of child-safety seats.
If you are involved in a collision with a deer move your vehicle
from the roadway if possible and immediately call the police.
Do not approach, touch or attempt to move an injured deer. A
deer that has been injured could injure you in its attempt to
escape the situation.
ATTACKS BY DEER
While deer appear to be harmless creatures, the number of
attacks on humans by deer is on the increase. An attack by a
deer can be brutal. Deer antlers can cause puncture wounds. On
occasion, deer attacks have been known to result in severe and
permanent injury to people and even death. To reduce the risk
of being a victim of a deer attack, people are encouraged to
observe the following suggestions:
- Never provide food to a deer. When a pattern of regular feeding
has been established deer become protective of the food source
and may attack those near the food source - even those people
providing the food.
- Never, under any circumstance, approach a deer. Deer are
wild animals. While they may appear docile, their demeanor can
change without warning.
- Be especially cautious of deer with fawns. Mother deer are
very protective of their young.
- Male deer, known as "bucks," can attack people
without provocation, especially during the "rut" season
- October through December. The rut is the time of year when
female deer, known as "does," emit a scent that tells
the bucks they are ready to breed.
- If you do see a deer, observe it from a distance, preferably
from inside a structure or vehicle.
TRANSMISSION OF DISEASES
Deer pose a threat to public safety by the possibility of
transmitting diseases to people. Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain
spotted fever are known to be carried by deer. Laboratory tests
indicate that these diseases can be transmitted to humans through
contact with infected parasites such as ticks. To help reduce
the likelihood of contracting one of these diseases the following
measures are suggested:
- Never approach a deer under any circumstance. Touching a
deer increases the chances of exposure to disease.
- Never attempt to feed a deer by hand or touch food that a
deer has eaten. Touching the saliva of a deer increases the chances
of exposure to disease.
- Bring pet food containers inside at night. Leaving food out
overnight encourages deer, and other nuisance animals, to rely
on humans for food.
- When working in your lawn, landscaping or garden, or when
walking or hiking in a wooded area, always wear insect repellent
to discourage ticks and other insects from biting.
It is illegal to discharge a firearm or weapon of any type,
including bows, slings and crossbows, anywhere within the City
of Fort Thomas.
HOMEOWNER DEER MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES
While there are no easy answers to the deer issue there are
strategies that can be implemented by residents to help reduce
the occurrence of deer-related damage to landscape plants and
gardens. The ideas and suggestions listed below are common deer
management strategies recommended from numerous sources:
Strategy #1: Buy deer resistant plants
For more information on which plants are unpalatable to deer,
contact the Cornell Cooperative Extension Service, Cornell University,
Ithaca, NY 14853, and ask for a copy of the fact sheet "Resistance
of Woody Ornamental Plants to Deer Damage." Please be aware
however that a hungry deer faced with a shortage of food supply,
will eat almost any kind of plant.
Strategy #2: Use common "scents"
some uncommon ones also
Human hair, human urine, predator urine or droppings, deodorant
soap, dried blood in a cloth bag, and milorganite are commonly
suggested scent barriers to use around vulnerable plants to deter
deer. These scents tell the deer that a threat is present, and
will help discourage them from low growing plants (but does not
protect taller species such as daylilies). However, these scents
(particularly the human scents) will prove less effective against
more domesticated deer, and also present obvious aesthetic issues.
Strategy #3: Chemical spray repellants
Commercial repellants often are more effective than the above-listed
home remedy concoctions. Besides the cost involved, the biggest
disadvantage is that they need to be re-applied frequently, at
least after every rain. The effectiveness of different repellants
has been shown to vary from a 15% to 80% reduction in damage.
Always follow the manufacturer's instructions on the label before
applying a chemical repellant. Never apply repellants to any
portion of a plant likely to be eaten by humans unless the label
permits it. There are typically two different kinds of product
sprays to be used on: 1) shrubbery, trees, flowers, landscaping
plants; or 2) fruits, vegetables and edible plants. These products
are available at most garden supply and hardware stores. Listed
below are some common repellants, with Internet web address and
telephone number, if available, to obtain more information.
·This One Works: Voluntary Purchasing Group, Bonham
·Not Tonight Deer: www.nottonight.com
77 Waller St., San Francisco, CA 94102
(877) REPEL-IT, or
·Tree Guard: www.nortechforest.com
Strategy #4: Netting and Partial Barriers
Black nylon netting normally sold to protect berries and fruit
from birds can be used to cover plants on a temporary basis.
Sixty (60) pound fishing line also can be used for this purpose.
Deer do not see particularly well and will back off after brushing
against the strands. The main advantage is that it is less expensive
than full fences, and can also be unobtrusive. Used as a fence,
it needs to be constructed high enough to prevent the deer from
simply leaning or jumping over it (typically six feet). However,
a determined deer will eventually learn to push against the fence
to gain access to the plants. When draped over the plants, make
sure to remove and re-drape frequently as the plants grow.
Strategy #5: Noisemakers and Frightening Devices
Hang pie pans to produce noise in the wind. Install a motion
detector near your garden. Leave a radio on outside all night
(without disturbing the neighbors, of course). Other devices
such as propane exploders/cannons, shellcrackers and similar
combustible devices are unlawful to use or sell within the city
without a permit, if classified as a Class C or B explosive (common
or special fireworks) by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Please be aware that frightening devices may only temporarily
alleviate the problem, as deer tend to easily adjust to man-made
gadgets and soon ignore them.
Strategy #6: Fences
Permanent fencing is the most reliable deer control solution,
but not necessarily the most practical in terms of appearance,
cost or terrain. Also, due to zoning regulations, City of Fort
Thomas residents are required to apply for a permit prior to
the installation of any permanent fence, and must comply with
the maximum fence height regulations. Obstructions to a safe
landing for the deer on the opposite side of the fence pose the
threat of injury and can be a strong deterrent. The combination
of fence with accompanying shrubs tall enough that the deer can't
see through may work. Whatever the height and material of the
fence, the construction low to the ground must be very solid.
Please be advised that the City of Fort Thomas neither endorses
nor guarantees the effectiveness of any of the aforementioned
strategies or products. Proper caution and safety should be followed
at all times with installation or application of any strategy,
including the use of professional installation or consultation
with the manufacturer.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 95 OF THE "CITY
OF FORT THOMAS CODE OF ORDINANCES" BY ADDING AN EXCEPTION
TO SECTION 95.05 TO ALLOW FOR THE DISCHARGE OF ARROWS FROM BOWS
OR CROSSBOWS UNDER SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.
WHEREAS, the city enacted ordinance O-35-2007
to allow for the discharge of arrows from bows and crossbows
within the city; and
WHEREAS, ordinance O-35-2007 included a "sunset
clause" which required the expiration of the ordinance on
February 1, 2011; and
WHEREAS, Section 95.05 has expired and is
no longer in effect; and
WHEREAS, the city continues to experience
deer-vehicle accidents in the city due to the deer population
in the city; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Council desires to provide
for the discharge of arrows from bows and crossbows on certain
properties in the city to help reduce the number of deer and
improve public safety by reducing the number of deer-vehicle
accidents in the city.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED THAT:
Section 95.05 of the City of Fort Thomas Code
of Ordinances is hereby amended by adding as follows:
§ 95.05 DISCHARGE OF FIREARMS AND OTHER
No person shall discharge any firearm of any
nature, nor use or discharge any sling, bow or other weapon in
the City of Fort Thomas, except as specifically provided hereinbelow.
The prohibition of this section shall not apply to any police
officer or agent of this city acting in his or her official capacity.
(A) Exceptions. The provisions of this subchapter
shall not apply to any individual discharging an arrow from a
bow or crossbow when such discharge meets all of the following
(1) When such discharge occurs:
(a) From one-half hour before sunrise to 10:00 AM from November
1 through November 21 or from January 1 through the end of the
Kentucky archery hunting season for deer as established by the
Commonwealth of Kentucky for that year; or
(b) Pursuant to a depredation permit issued by the Kentucky Department
of Fish and Wildlife Resources; and
(2) When the individual is discharging an arrow from a point
not less than 200 feet from a residence, apartment, or business
structure not on the property on which the discharge is occurring,
or a street, highway, interstate, railroad or park, in the direction
the arrow is discharged; and
(3) When the individual is discharging an arrow in a manner where
no residence, apartment or business structure not on the property
on which the discharge is occurring, or a street, highway, interstate,
railroad or park is less than 100 feet to both the left and right
of the direction of the arrow's trajectory; and
(4) When the individual is discharging an arrow in a manner in
which it does not leave the property from which it is being discharged;
(5) When the individual is discharging an arrow not more than
35 yards from the intended target; and
(6) When the individual discharging an arrow is either the owner
of the property upon which the arrow is being discharged or has
the permission of the property owner upon which the arrow is
being discharged; and
(7) When the discharge occurs on a lot 3 acres or greater in
area, or on a combination of contiguous lots under the same ownership
which cumulatively are 3 acres or greater in area.
(B) The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to any
individual discharging an arrow as part of an educational program
on property owned or controlled by the educational institution,
specifically including, but not limited to, archery classes taught
in a public or private school.
This Ordinance shall be in full force and effect from and after
its passage, approval, and publication as required by law.
Mary H. Brown, Mayor
1st Reading: September 6, 2011
Publication: September 29, 2011
Melissa K. Kelly, City Clerk
§ 95.30 SCOPE.
This subchapter shall apply to the field dressing of any animal
killed in conjunction with the discharge of any arrow from a
bow in strict compliance with § 95.05 of this Chapter.
§ 95.31 DEFINITIONS.
FIELD DRESSING. The process of removing blood and internal
organs from an animal carcass.
§ 95.32 REQUIREMENTS.
Any individual who field dresses an animal carcass within
the City of Fort Thomas is required to containerize and remove
all blood and internal organs from within the City of Fort Thomas.
No blood or internal organs resulting from field dressing an
animal shall be buried, burned, or otherwise disposed of within
the City of Fort Thomas, nor shall any blood or internal organs
be placed in trash containers for collection by the city or the
city's garbage franchisee.
§ 91.50 DETERMINATION OF CITY.
It is hereby determined that an increasing population of deer
within the City of Fort Thomas: poses a threat to public safety
by increasing the likelihood of deer-vehicle collisions, deer
attacks on residents, pedestrians and visitors, and the transmission
of diseases to humans from deer; poses a threat to native plant
and animal life by excessive foraging which disturbs natural
ecological balances; and poses a threat to the quality of life
by deer-related damage to landscaping and vegetable gardens.
§ 91.51 FEEDING PROHIBITED.
(A) No person shall knowingly, purposely or intentionally
feed deer, cause deer to be fed or provide food to deer in the
City of Fort Thomas on any public or private property. This prohibition
includes, but is not limited to, disbursement of food on the
ground, at a feeding station, in a feeding device, or in a container
of any form; providing a salt or mineral lick/block; or any other
means which serves to provide feed to any deer in the City of
(B) A person shall be deemed to have knowingly, purposely
or intentionally fed deer, caused deer to be fed, or provided
food to deer if the person places, or allows to be placed, wheat,
pelleted livestock food, corn in any form, fruit, vegetables,
hay or alfalfa, human food scraps, any form of commercially sold
wildlife feed, birdseed or livestock feed, or any other edible
matter that deer will consume on the ground or within the reach
of deer. This prohibition shall not include live vegetation such
as ornamental landscaping, flowers, trees, vines, vegetable gardens,
edible matter located either in an enclosed building or stored
in a securely sealed package, or unmodified commercially purchased
bird feeders or their equivalent when placed out of the reach
§ 91.52 REMOVAL OF FEED.
Any person, upon written notification by the city, violating
§ 91.51 shall immediately and permanently remove feed and
feeding devices utilized to feed deer, and discontinue the activity
for which the notification was given.
§ 91.99 PENALTY.
(H) Any person violating § 91.51 of this Ordinance shall
be deemed to have committed a civil offense, and be subject to
a fine of $100.00 for a first violation, $250.00 for a second
violation, and $500 for a third and each subsequent violation.
Each violation shall constitute a separate offense.