Oh, deer: the Raymond Terrace icons under threat


WHEN Raymond Terrace resident Laura Charlton received a letter from Port Stephens Council outlining a plan to cull wild deer in the area, she was horrified.

The letter, dated 26 October 2021, read that the deer had been identified as feral animals and pending feedback from local police and RSPCA, the council had decided to engage professional shooters to remove the deer population.

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Mrs Charlton enjoys seeing the deer graze whilst out walking her two dogs.

“They don’t do any harm and it’s a bit mean to shoot them,” Mrs Charlton told News Of The Area.

“They’re a local icon.”

Port Stephens Council has become aware of an increasing deer population in the Beaton Avenue and Irrawang Swamp area and, as a result of this population increase, there has been a number of complaints about deer running onto roads and being hit by passing vehicles.

“We know that deer can become a serious issue [sic] in urban areas, particularly when moving near road corridors,” explained Brock Lamont, Port Stephens Council’s Strategy and Environment Section Manager.

There are no road signs to warn motorists that there are deer present in the area.

After a recent meeting of the Hunter Regional Pest Animal Committee, Council agreed that shooting was the most humane method to eradicate the wild deer population.

“The controlled shooting operation requires extensive planning and risk management including traffic management and a complete safety plan,” said Mr Lamont.

“This would be managed by a qualified contractor in consultation with the NSW Police and Council.”

If the cull is to go ahead, after liaising with Hunter Water and hearing community feedback, it will occur over two nights in the lead up to Christmas.

The venison collected from the cull will be donated to local zoos to feed animals.

The Council reminds residents that these deer are wild animals and should not be approached.

Any sightings of or interactions with wild deer should be reported to Council.

Residents who have any questions or concerns about the proposed deer control program should contact Jordan Skinner, Environmental Operations Team Leader, on (02) 4988 0392.



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