The message is clear on the fifty newly-appointed signs posted around the city of Ashland, Oregon: Feed the deer and you will be fined over $400.

After last fall’s listening sessions, Mayor John Stromberg heard stories of attacks and residents pleading with city officials to do something about the deer population.  The problem being, the city is not in charge of the deer, Oregon’s Department of Fish and Wildlife are the ones responsible for managing the population.  The department has repeatedly told city officials to take the appropriate measures to stop residents from feeding the animals.

City administrator Dave Kanner is doing his part to educate residents of the problems rising deer populations have as well as the risks associated with the habitual feeding of deer by humans.

“If we get reports about feeding, we will send the code enforcement officer out,” Kanner told Ashland Daily Tidings. “When deer get fed, they are acclimated to being around people. It gives deer the idea that interacting with the human population is the way to get fed.

“We encountered one couple who went to the Co-op every day, bought apples, cut them up and put them on a plate in their front yard. They think it’s cute to have deer in their yard, but it has an impact on the entire neighborhood. The deer aren’t going to stay on their property.”

Ashland police cheif Tighe O’Meara reports that no one has been cited at this point, but is remaining vigilant.

H/T: Ashland Daily Tidings