SALEM TOWNSHIP -- Tempers flared outside the main gate of the Hideout along Route 590 in Wayne County during a protest over the gated community's proposal to hire someone to shoot and kill deer inside the development.
Protesters held signs with slogans like "Save the Deer" and "We Will Be Heard."
They are upset at the prospect of having 300 deer killed. A recent USDA study estimated there are around 600 deer in the Hideout.
The protesters said seeing the Pennsylvania state animal in their backyards is one of the best things about living in the development near Lake Ariel.
The Hideout is a community with a few thousand homes on 46 square miles of land.
"We moved up here for the wildlife and there is nothing greater than having your grandkids come up and see the deer in your backyard," said resident Debbie Mutascio.
"I am actually going to sell my house over this," said Frank Dynarsky, adding he feels the Hideout's board is out of touch.
Dynarsky is upset the plan was passed in December without a meeting for residents.
"We just want it to go to a vote. We want the community in which we live and the surrounding community to be involved in what happens here. That is what is fair," Dynarsky said.
While the protesters are passionate about the subject, other residents say they are ignoring reality.
"There are certain species of trees that they eat like maple and oak. There is not a sapling under six feet tall in the Hideout," said resident Bill Vanyo.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission now has an application from the Hideout and would have to issue a permit for the deer to be killed.
The Hideout`s general manager told Newswatch 16 having too many deer presents a danger to drivers and increases the risk for Lyme disease inside the development where hunting is not allowed.
"Their objection is that this is inhumane. They have no idea how do deer die in the wild. They don't have heart attacks and fall," Vanyo said.
The plan isn't just controversial inside the Hideout. People who live in the surrounding area submitted a petition. They are concerned about the impact the plan could have on hunting since the deer can come and go from the Hideout.