Ruby Ranch residents are locking horns with neighbors who trap and relocate the exotic deer and antelope found roaming the subdivision near Buda, Texas.
Capturing the nonnative species has been a contested issue in the neighborhood for years, but a ban on the practice is gaining traction this week with more than 100 residents signing an amendment that would add wildlife management to the subdivision’s list of governing rules.
“Most people in Ruby Ranch moved here because of the exotics,” resident Sonny Hollub said, blaming one resident in particular for declining numbers of deer. “Even though no law says he can’t trap them, the majority of our residents think they’re all ours. He’s reducing our population of exotics to take them to his ranch in Llano.”
Hollub is organizing the petition drive and has formed an HOA oversight group with 72 members and an attorney who helped draft the amendment, which calls for a $1,500 fine for trapping exotics and would create a wildlife committee to manage the population.
During a homeowners association meeting attended by about 110 people Tuesday night, the Ruby Ranch HOA’s attorney said more than 75 percent of lot owners (245 people) would have to sign the amendment before the restrictions could be legally changed.
Collecting those signatures could be an imposing task, however. By the HOA’s estimates, only 77 percent of lot owners live in the subdivision, and absentee landlords and other nonresident owners might be less willing or available to amend the restrictions. Home renters are not eligible to vote on the amendment process.