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HUDSON OAKS -- You can see why people love living in Hudson Oaks; nice homes on big lots, country life in Parker County just a few minutes from downtown Fort Worth.

The trouble is, deer love it, too.

Love it so much that city council just made it illegal to feed them.

Bill and Janet Hinnenberg think it's probably too late for that. They say they've seen 25 at one time.

'We can count them,' they said 'It's like counting sheep.'

They say their neighbor used to put out 50 pounds of deer corn a day. At dusk, deer amble through neighborhoods and lounge in front yards.

Last year, Hudson Oaks city officials pleaded with everyone to stop feeding them. The population was out of control.

It still is.

'10 to 12 in our backyard,' Pam Dukes said. 'Some big bucks. Big bucks.'

Causing big problems.

The police chief counts at least a half-dozen car/deer collisions in just the last six months or so. And that's in a town of only two-and-a-half square miles.

So city council took it a step farther, enacting a ban on feeding deer.

The city hasn't issued any tickets yet. But the first person to get one is probably going to look like a deer in the headlights. You get caught feeding the deer now in Hudson Oaks, it could cost you up to $500. The first offense will bring only a warning.

Officials say they had to enact the law if they hope to ever get help from Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife to thin the herds. But residents say deer are doing more damage now than before, because they're not getting fed.

'Now they eat my plants because they're not feeding them,' Janet Hinnenberg said. 'I think they made it worse. Look at my plants.'

Her Indian Hawthorne shrubs are in shreds. She read that Indian Hawthorne are deer resistant.

She laughs.

'Irresistible to deer,' she joked. 'Maybe I misread it.'

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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