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Be Considerate of Deer When Decorating for the Holidays

Be Considerate of Deer When Decorating for the Holidays

Please remember to think about wildlife when decorating your property for the fall holidays. This time of year when deer are in the rut, Park Rangers receive many calls regarding deer entangled in light strands or even netting! Below are some tips from Colorado Parks and Wildlife to keep in mind:

● TIMING – Wait to put up outdoor lights on posts, shrubs or small trees until after the peak of the deer rut, sometime after the first week of December.
● TREES with trunk diameters of two to six inches are most likely to be rubbed by bucks, which entangle lights in their antlers. Only string lights on larger diameter trees.
● LIGHTS – Use multiple short strands of wire plugged together versus one long strand so that if animals become entangled they will have less wire to deal with.
● AVOID “CLOTHESLINE” – stringing lights “clothesline” style across areas. Firmly attach lights to tree limbs, gutters, or fence posts.
● FLAGGING – Place some flagging along the wired decorations so that deer can see where the wire is and avoid entanglement.
These ideas also apply to general yard planning year-round. Wildlife can also benefit from:
• NETTING – Removing sport nets/goals from their posts during the fall and winter. Don’t wrap nets around the post, as animals may still be enticed to rub their antlers on them and get caught.
• GARDENING ITEMS – Disconnecting and storing water hoses, tomato cages and other gardening materials (netting, stakes, ties, etc.) until spring.
• STORE ITEMS – Taking down and storing hammocks and swings when not in use.

Ken-Caryl Ranch Park Rangers will investigate a report regarding a deer entangled in lights or netting only if it is impeding the deer’s sight, feeding and/or mobility. If the light strand or netting is not causing harm and is just a nuisance, the Rangers will ask the reporting party to casually observe the animal over the next few weeks to see if the situation worsens. If you have any questions please feel free to call the Rangers for more information at 303-979-1876, ext. 170.

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