Oh deer.

That’s not a typographical error, it’s a response to the discussion at last week’s Clinton City Council meeting about organizing a controlled bowhunt in the city limits to help thin the local deer population.

Why are there so many deer? Last year’s drought, say some. Clinton’s growth, say others, which robs deer of their natural habitat. When a wooded area gets cut down for construction, the deer seem to move closer to people. Their natural predators, however, move farther away, allowing the deer that can find food to flourish.

Hunting is a perfectly legal activity — in fact, bowhunting already is legal in the city limits during the bow season. However, hunters can’t always get permission to hunt on private property where deer live, and that also has contributed to overpopulation.

This is a tough call — it certainly isn’t the deers’ fault their habitat is being taken away, and can we blame them if someone’s thousand-dollar garden looks like a salad bar?

On the other hand, we have a lot of responsible hunters in town who could help reduce the population in a professional, efficient manner, and we know the meat would be put to good use as opposed to having some firm come in and just cart deer away to who knows where.

We’re glad the city is investigating the issue. Losing a few plants here and there is understandable, but if deer start causing automobile accidents in town — and who can forget the Bambi clone that broke through a front window at the Clinton Jewel a few years back — it’s an issue of public safety.

So long as local, responsible hunters are the ones involved in the hunting season and proper safety precautions are taken, we feel this hunt may be the most logical way to address an ever growing problem.