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Bloomington proposes fine for feeding deer

Management hunts of white-tailed deer will close 18 State Parks or Areas today and tomorrow (WISH PHOTO)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) — The Bloomington City Council wants to fine visitors and residents $50 for feeding or leaving food out for deer.

Monroe County are home to large population of deer.

“If you think about it from the deer’s perspective, there’s food and water there, it’s a very safe area, because there aren’t a lot of predators around,” said, Joe Caudell, deer biologist for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.

The director of Bloomington’s Animal Care and Control said the proposal stemmed from a 2012 Deer Task Force which found higher concentrations of deer congregating in areas of Bloomington where people feed them.

The ordinance bans the public from feeding deer corn, fruit, hay, grain, nuts, wheat and vegetables. People can also be fined for leaving food out that is easily accessible to deer. Deer have a specific diet and their bodies can’t adjust well if they consume anything else.

“Sometimes people will try to feed them hay, and deer don’t eat a lot of grass, that’s actually a very small part of their diet,” said Caudell.

Caudell adds that diseases can spread easily between deer when they are fed by humans.

The council debate and vote on the ordinance August 16. City officials acknowledge the ban will be hard to enforce if passed.