As cooler weather approaches, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is asking residents to take down equipment and yard toys that cause problems for wildlife.
Recently in Durango, a young buck deer became tangled in a hammock and broke off an antler and part of its skull. A resident reported seeing the deer, but wildlife officers were not able to find the animal.
“When we looked at the antler, we knew the deer had sustained a very serious injury,” said Matt Thorpe, area wildlife manager in Durango.
At this time of year, buck deer are especially active as the mating season approaches. It’s common for deer to get tangled in hammocks, volleyball nets, swing sets, tire swings, clothes lines, yard decorations, garden fencing, tomato cages, buckets and more.
Those items should be stored for the winter or covered and secured.
“Deer can end up with almost anything on their antlers,” Thorpe said. “We’ve even had deer with bicycles on their antlers.”
Every year, holiday lights also end up as decorations on the heads of deer. Lights should be attached tightly to a building, to a post or to a fence and not loosely draped over trees or shrubs. Also, residents are asked to hang lights more than 6 feet above the ground.
To report an animal tangled in a net or decorations, call Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 247-0855, or local law enforcement. Do not approach the animal or attempt to remove items.