'They're everywhere': Residents frustrated over deer influx
POLICE have warned motorists to be aware of feral deer as drought drives the dangerous pest on to streets.
The warning came after a Texas Police patrol car experienced a near miss when a deer jumped over the bonnet in the town's main street.
Sergeant Greg Finucane said he was urging drivers to 'expect the unexpected'.
"As more wildlife comes to the side of the road to feed, we encourage drivers to obey the road rules and reduce speed when necessary," he said.
While the town has an existing deer population the pests usually stay in rural locations and a Southern Downs Regional Council spokeswoman said the severity of this year's drought may be behind the influx.
"Drought influences the behaviour of pest animals as they often need to travel beyond their usual range to access food and water," the spokeswoman said.
"Sightings can increase when animals move closer to human habitation than they otherwise would."
Store owner Vicki Croft from Texas Treats said residents were struggling to hold their own against the inundation.
"People are seeing deers of a night and deers on the edge of town," Mrs Croft said.
"I know people who have lost everything in their gardens and those (people) had to put on electric fences to protect themselves."
Mrs Croft said the animals also presented a major safety concern for the town.
"Now we have to dodge the deer as well as the kangaroos," she said.
"They're on the road everywhere."
The council responded to concerns, saying the animals were timid and control options such as shooting or fencing should be enough to ward them off.
But as Mrs Croft pointed out, as the pest moved towards residential areas, the options for preventative measures grew slim, leaving many residents feeling hopeless.
"There is a hunting market for deers out here but you can't do that in the middle of town," she said.
"There's nothing that can really be done.
"You just have to do your best to keep them out of your space."