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Controversial Plan to Manage Deer Population

LAKE TOWNSHIP — A private community in Wayne County may have a deer problem on its hands. The Hideout wants to kill off some deer, but people who live in ...
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LAKE TOWNSHIP -- A private community in Wayne County may have a deer problem on its hands.

The Hideout wants to kill off some deer, but people who live in and around the place are not all for it.

The Hideout has more than 3,000 homes.

There are approximately 580 deer inside the community, according to a three-day USDA study done last year.

Now the general manager said that number has to come down. The Hideout is requesting 300 tags from the PA Game Commission along with a permit to cull the deer population, but not everyone agrees.

For many people who choose to live at The Hideout, it's a place to get away from the big city and live where wildlife is in their backyard.

Recently, however, The Hideout's general manager said deer have been a problem. There are too many deer feeding on shrubs, increasing the risk for Lyme disease, even causing crashes on the 40 miles of roads inside the gated community.

Some residents agree.

"Cockroaches and rats were pests, so we got rid of them. Deer here in The Hideout are just pests, so we need to get rid of them," said Tony Casabianca.

Casabianca came here from New York City and while he said deer make for nice scenery, he's with The Hideout’s claim that the growing deer population was ignored for too long - especially since it's an area where hunting deer is banned.

His neighbor, though, said he has no problem with the deer.

"I come outside my house every day, have my cup of coffee, sit outside to watch the deer come around here. It’s a beautiful sight," said Craig Mocerino.

There are no fences along the property line of The Hideout to keep deer in or out, so people who live nearby said any deer kill will have a spillover effect, meaning fewer deer in the general area of The Hideout.

"The deer belong to everybody and not exclusive to The Hideout," said Brian Chapman.

Chapman is one of those neighbors, worried that thinning the herd inside The Hideout will mean fewer deer for everyone come hunting season.

"We’ve talked to several of them that are already seeing less deer and are going to look at this now as saying why should I come up here?" he added.

The Hideout would still need a permit from the Pennsylvania Game Commission in order to hire anyone to kill deer on its property.

Some who live inside and outside the gates said they hope The Hideout doesn't go through with the plan.

The general manager said all the deer meat would be donated to the Wayne County Food Pantry.