Marin’s Deer Have Brought on an Impassioned Debate

deer in Marin

In September, the name “Tiburon” was splashed across newspapers throughout the country, and not for the usual upbeat reasons. This time, the tiny Marin town wasn’t being exalted as an example of the healthiest or wealthiest — in a grim turn of events, it was the death of two deer by gunshot that drew national attention. The man responsible for the shooting is facing animal cruelty charges and has admitted to firing at the mother and baby after catching them eating his landscaping. At present, opinion on the matter in the community is split. Many are aghast and heartbroken over the slow death and suffering the animals underwent. Others are fed up with the animals’ foliage-destructive feeding and yet opposed to installing unsightly deer fences. And some are considering far more extreme measures, particularly a small group of Belvedere residents who want to hire a company to dart-tranquilize and surgically sterilize the female native black-tailed deer in the community. In light of these circumstances, Marin Humane and WildCare have shared several pieces of information. The organizations report that the deer population in Belvedere has not grown, that the deer (sterilized or not) will continue to eat the vegetation they can access, and that there’s nothing to prevent other deer turning up when the sterilized animals die. Want tips for deterring deer? Check out our February story on the subject at

This article originally appeared in Marin Magazine’s print edition with the headline: “Deer Debate”