Gilmer County Residents Seek to Thin Deer Herd

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The Coosawattee River Resort has plenty of wildlife. It's a gated community with about 7-thousand homes in Ellijay. There are bears, coyotes, wild turkeys and other animals. But it's the deer that that are sparking controversy.

Some welcome the deer and enjoy feeding them and watching them in their yards.

"We probably have 10 to 12 deer that go from lot to lot. People stop and take pictures, they get out their binoculars, it's our greatest treasure," said Diane Anderson.

But others said there are so many deer, they've become a nuisance.

"It's very bad. You can't have any plants, any flowers, because they'll eat them. They'll come in your yard and just look at you like it's their yard," said one resident.

The HOA adopted a wildlife management plan to help control the deer population. The plan includes bringing in a team of expert archers to conduct a controlled, limited deer cull. The plan has some residents very angry.

"They're bringing in a professional bow hunting team, there are 10 deer stands they've erected and they will take out 100 deer then leave. It's inhumane," said Diane Anderson, a resident who is fighting the plan.

The plan is controversial and has emotions running high, disrupting the peace and serenity of this community tucked away in Gilmer County.

"It seems everybody is arguing on both sides," said Anne Stephens.

The deer cull was supposed to begin this week, but the general manager sent out a notice that states it is postponed until September 22 to give the HOA more time to assess the plan. Residents have already started a petition to stop save the deer.