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'Waste of taxpayer dollars' | Residents respond to Tega Cay's plan to address out-of-control deer population

People living in Tega Cay are well aware of the growing deer population problem but are concerned about how the city plans to control it.

TEGA CAY, S.C. — Residents in Tega Cay are responding to the city's plan to reduce the growing deer population that officials say is to blame for rises in disease and car accidents across the city. 

City leaders are expected to ask South Carolina officials if they can shoot and kill upwards of 100 deer at a golf course in Tega Cay. The number of deer is now up more than 20% compared to last year. 

Many people acknowledged the deer are a problem but some residents aren't fully on board with thinning the herd with a sharpshooting mission. 

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"I like many residents of Tega Cay, I am very concerned about our deer and I’m very concerned about the deer population," Lauren Nichols said during Monday's city council meeting. 

City leaders said the current deer population is 1,028 during the meeting. That figure accounts to one deer for every 1.3 acres. Several people showed up at the meeting to express their concerns about the city's current plan to hire off-duty law enforcement sharpshooters to kill the deer. 

Some are concerned about what it would cost.

"It’s a waste of taxpayer dollars," Stephanie Kessel said. 

Others worry about public safety.

"I do not believe in culling and I’m concerned about the use of guns in our community," Mary Iger said.

On Tuesday, the City of Tega Cay is submitting a request to state wildlife leaders to approve the killing of about 75 to 100 deer either later this year or early next year. Officials say they need to kill about 350 total to get the population under control. 

Neighbors who spoke at the meeting also talked about a more humane way to control the deer population: sterilization. City leaders say they’re still working on getting more information about this method.

Contact Destiny Richards at drichards5@wcnc.com and follow her on FacebookX and Instagram.

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